Republic Cement sets up RP’s first safety academy

Republic Cement sets up RP’s first safety academy Republic Cement’s Bulacan plant, makers of Republic Portland Plus and a Lafarge associated company, will open its safety training center to government and interested private manufacturing industries to promote a safety culture that goes beyond the work environment.

Republic Cement leads the way to industrial safety: Lafarge Safety Academy safety trainer Guillermo Payumo Jr. shows contractors the right way to operate conveyor belts, the wrong use of which is the leading cause of industrial accidents in the world. Republic Cement Bulacan Plant holds a distinguished record for its health and safety performance and is the site of the Lafarge Safety Academy which seeks to inculcate a safety culture to Filipinos (Click the image to enlarge).

Normandy Cristobal, Safety and Health Manager of Republic Cement Corporation based in Barangay Minuyan, Norzagaray Bulacan said that the idea came from officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) who noted that the Bulacan plant and its training facility provide a good benchmark for safety and health practices.

 

The Safety Induction Center, to be renamed as the Lafarge Semento Safety Academy, features an authentic but truncated version of a conveyor belt, various protection gear and a mock-up scaffolding, complete with recommended outfit and safety gear.

“World safety statistics show that conveyor accidents and working at heights are the two leading causes of industrial accidents but Lafarge’s worldwide safety practices have shown convincing proof that safety awareness and training goes a long way in promoting a safe and healthy work environment,” Samir Cairae, Lafarge Cement Services (Philippines) Inc. (LCSPI) president said.

The Safety Induction Center was originally conceived to provide training to Republic Cement’s external contractors and suppliers. Contractors who undergo and pass the two-day practical and theoretical training course receive a safety badge which accredits them to conduct business with the plant.

Contractors are also obliged to pass on the training to all their workers, including truck drivers, stevedores, etc.

When the Contractor Safety Training was first introduced in 2007, contractors and suppliers of Republic Cement said they regarded the policy as OA (overacting). Now after almost a year, the reactions have turned very positive.

 

Not all protective masks are created equal, explains Lafarge Safety Academy trainer Guillermo Payumo Jr. to various private contractors working with Republic Cement Bulacan Plant during one of their regular safety meetings . Only contractors who pass the safety and health training of Lafarge qualify to have dealings with any of Lafarge affiliates in the Philippines (Click the image to enlarge)

 

Victorino Palines, contractor for RESNA Builders and Suppliers which provides cargo handling manpower said that his employees used to be very stubborn and refused to practice safety procedures. “They didn’t see the purpose of dust masks and goggles and did not like to wear safety harnesses. After persistent reminders, they now see the whole logic behind it all and that it is really for their own protection, “ Palines added.

 

Paul Jeffrey Rayo, Contractor for Tovillo Construction Services added that their workers now realize that wearing goggles prevents them from hurting their eyes, dust masks keep their lungs healthy, and gloves protect their hands from injuries. “Now they complain when they are not given the correct protective gear,” Rayo said.

Jun Mabalot, LCSPI Safety Manager said that the Lafarge culture of safety is an important way of arousing a sense of planning, safety and responsibility in all workers. “However, what is even more significant is that safety awareness and practice become a way of life in the home and the community as more and more people are trained to become more safety-oriented,” Mabalot said.

The high level of safety awareness at Republic Cement’s Bulacan plant is nowhere more evident than it receiving the most number of safety and health awards amongst all cement manufacturing plants in the country, a feat that has inspired its management to share their best practices with others in the manufacturing sector through the Safety Induction Center.

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