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Safety group lauds Binay’s bill on sitting break, urges other legislators to push for more bills to protect workers’ health

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The Institute for Occupational Health and Safety Development commends the efforts of Sen. Nancy Binay in filing a bill to give mall workers a 15-minute break every two hours. Legislators of Gabriela Women’s Party in the Lower House have filed similar bills in the past to help workers cope with the ill effects of prolonged standing. Sen. Binay’s bill can provide additional push in finally putting it into law.

According to Hazards magazine, “there is a strong evidence linking prolonged standing at work to an increased risk of heart problems and stroke.” Besides circulatory problems, it can also cause damage to feet and other joints that may lead to muscle and other body aches. Pregnant women workers who are required to stand for long hours may experience preterm labor and/or low birth weight deliveries based on a study by Dr. Michael B. Braken, et al., of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University, School of Medicine.

“We support Sen. Binay’s proposed bill and encourage all the workers to stand up for their right to a healthy work environment, “ said Noel Colina, IOHSAD Executive Director. “A 15-minute break every two hours will accumulate to one-hour sitting break for every 8-hour working day. The workers must not only ensure that these well-deserved breaks be implemented but also considered as paid by their employers.”

Besides salesladies in malls, the other workers who experience prolonged standing in their jobs are security guards, hotel receptionists, machine operators and assembly line workers.

“The sitting break scheme has been implemented in cities like Davao through City Council resolutions and we hope all workers experience it as well. We call on the other senators and legislators to support this bill and pass more relevant laws to ensure the health and safety of workers,” added Colina.