I’ve been at my computer since morning. I was reviewing off line web pages when TV reported the passing away of Rep. Crispin Beltran known to many as Ka Bel.
A dedicated and honest public servant in congress, a staunch critic against graft and corruption in government – they’re my impressions of him. He was Party-list representative in congress. May he be remembered by all Filipinos.
Report said he died of head injury after he fell from a rooftop that he was repairing. I remember just a while ago, I was at Lester Cavestany where there was a mention about “World Safety and Health at Work…”
I am a general construction worker. I usually refer to myself as a Carpenter. That’s how I started in the world of construction. I’m a proud worker and I love my trade. I’ve learned carpentry from people like Chris H. Groneman, Gaspar J. Lewis, Max B. Fajardo, reading their books I mean, asides learning from others who had been in the trade before me, people who must have learned the hard way by hammering and sawing their way into the construction world.
From carpentry I have progressed to masonry, steel fixing, roofing, plumbing, building electrical, building mechanical, welding, performed any of them.
About roof repair at a time of year like now when it’s rainy season, it could be repairing leaks and/or gutters. Or, it could be related to other matters like TV antenna installation or repair. Roof painting is usually done before the coming of rains.
I don’t work on rooftops without safety or harness – standard provisions or improvised ones like rope tied to my waist. I don’t care if I might appear ridiculous with them. There was a time in my life when I, myself, used to think that such safety measures are ridiculous and unnecessary. Here are some reasons why they are necessary:
- One time, working on ceiling lightings at home, I fell down the stand. I think it was an abrupt change from a cramped position that caused me to pass out temporarily. Next thing I knew I was down on the floor, quite lucky I did not hit my head. And people are known to have died of head injury that way. The experience made me remember the days that I worked on far greater heights while so over confident!
- People are used to walk on leveled surfaces. On the rooftop it could be different. The mind can be slightly disoriented by the slope of the roof. And, add to that the fear of heights and the fear that one might possibly fall off the rooftop. As the body tends to lean away from the roof’s edge, one is prone to slip as body weight is no longer balanced at the feet.
[The latter reminds me of the guy named Jesus Christ. That he who seeks life too much (tends to, or) is bound to lose it.]
Anyway, I hope congress should really be looking into the health and safety of our work forces. Ask any Filipino who has retired from (domestic) construction work about that and he will probably be asking you what kind of thing or creature this Health and Safety is because he has never heard about it.
We Filipinos are good at aping from the West. We must have already copied the thing into our system. Maybe we do have offices for such. Maybe we do have people in such offices. Maybe they’re there, all setting pretty, Burloloys at the expense of Juan dela Cruz. Or maybe they exist and they’re in the field once in a while – but sipping coffee or wine in air conditioned offices of construction companies. I really don’t know, I never heard of them nor saw any of them in the fields in this part of the world.
Nobody cares if you fall so, Folks, take care of yourselves out there.