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How could PSME have save the lives of 72 workers in Valenzuela Fire?
Moderator(s): Rogelio G. Reyes
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5/17/2015 at 4:10:42 AM GMT
Posts: 38
How could PSME have save the lives of 72 workers in Valenzuela Fire?


Valenzuela Footwear Factory Fire

Photo Credit: Philstar.com
Photos Credit: Philstar.com /Ernie Penaredondo

The death of 72 workers in a Valenzuela Footwear Factory has once again highlight the importance of implementing a sound safety program in the workplace. The tragedy could have easily been prevented from happening.

Amidst the report we are reading and hearing from the media, we could easily know that a lot is lacking in terms of knowledge and in implementation of safety codes and safety practices.

From the news, the fire is caused by a welder who weld near flammable materials. What did he do before doing the welding works that could have prevented the fire. Is he a certified welder? Was he trained in fire safety? Does the factory has safety officer or even engineers with safety training who supervised the welder?

Does the factory has a working fire detection, fire suppression and fire alarm system?

What has the local government and the Bureau of Fire did that should have prevented this tragedy?

Is the footwear factory implementing a safety program? Do they (management and workers) have the knowledge and the right attitude that will prevent fires?

These entities have a lot of soul searching to do. But we, Mechanical Engineers, have too.

Fire Protection is one of the major fields of engineering where a lot of our colleagues in PSME are practicing. We have members who are well-known in the industry as designer, consultants, practitioners, safety officers, business leaders.

There is no other profession that is in the best position to have save the lives of these people other than Mechanical Engineering. We know fire better than anyone else. Firemen cannot design buildings that are safe from fire. We claim fire protection as part of our engineering practice. Thus, we as Mechanical Engineers, have obligations to do to help prevent this kind of tragedy from happening.

So, the question now is "How could PSME have saved the lives of 72 workers in the Valenzuela fire?" What should we have done? We have the knowledge to lead the nation away from this kind of tragedy. Let's lead.

Submit here your comments and suggestions.

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Read more:

Valenzuela fire death trap highlight sweatshop abuses

Blasts shook the ground; witness saw victims trapped on 2nd floor



/RGR


Last edited Sunday, May 17, 2015
5/17/2015 at 7:01:04 AM GMT
Posts: 38
More video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtX0G8rr2W4

More video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtX0G8rr2W4

/RGR


Last edited Sunday, May 17, 2015
7/21/2015 at 7:36:37 PM GMT
Hi Reyes!

That's a very sad to say, a tragic turn to fatal because of unlawful practice. The fact is, PSME couldn't save those 72 lives financially or anyone of us around them. The best thing to do there, but throughout the country needs to be aware what do we need to prevent FIRE. Did our Jurisdiction do their JOBS? That's the question we need to think first. All Buildings shall be in accordance to NFPA Life Safety Code and or to the Fire Protection Code of the Philippines.
Without following the Standard Code of Practice, tragedy, like that, might happen again and that's always happening if you're always with the NEWS. The Fire Protection Engineer can do their job from the concept unto tender design and implementation with the BFP Approval. But the next question is, do they follow what is the requirement of the Building Code during implementation? Or after awhile, do they conduct maintenance and testing all fire protection equipment within the building premises? Are they securing building permit? That's a minor points we need to bear in our mind, thus saving lives will prevail and living without fear.

So long, that's my point, but to extend further, we can discuss later.

Thanks for the thoughts.

Cheers!
Ronald


2/24/2016 at 8:05:23 PM GMT
As much as possible if they can avoid welding job near flammable zone or area it must be avoided if not there are certain precautionary measures to avoid fire or explosion while doing the job, if we will implement industrial plant safety based on my experience, before they start the job an engr or a competent person assigned must conduct risk assesment or make a job hazard analysis and if those reports are made, hazards will be eliminated. They shall conduct gas testing on that area, there must be a stand by fire extinguisher a safety officer/fire watcher and the workplace of the welder where he will do his hot work must be enclosed with fire blankets with enough space where he can move so that welding slugs will remain within his created space and it will hit directly on the fire blanket. They must conduct safety drill, route plan posters to be posted on the vicinity for emergency exits in case of fire or emergency. This is only my simple assesment based on my experience abroad in oil n gas plant/power plant where safety matters.


12/14/2016 at 6:50:08 AM GMT
When I was working in Qatar Civil Defence, we require construction safety works to be detailed in the plans and designs development stage, so that the consultant, owner and contractor would be responsible for any fire and life safety incident. In Australia, any building and construction work employing flammable and hazardous materials would be required a fire safety study by a registered fire engineer. In such cases, these kind of incidents would be prevented, or controlled and the government can easily enforce due action to the responsible party. Cheers, Clive