Sat. Sep 18th, 2021

MANILA – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Friday released the guidelines for private companies which are allowed to operate during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ).

It added that all workplaces, employers, and workers in the private sector are covered by the guidelines to develop minimum health protocols and standards in light of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The guidelines include mandatory wearing of face masks in buildings and workplaces; accomplishment of daily health symptoms questionnaire to be submitted to the guard-on-duty or safety officer; temperature checks; use of alcohol/sanitizers and putting of disinfection booths or foot baths in workplaces, if possible.

All work areas and frequently handled objects such as doorknobs and handles shall be cleaned and disinfected regularly, at least once every two hours and all washrooms and toilets shall have sufficient clean water and soap.

Workers are also encouraged to wash their hands frequently and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth.

It added that workers shall always practice physical distancing with a minimum of one-meter between each worker while eating in groups is discouraged and canteens should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

The DOLE and DTI also encouraged to adopt alternative work arrangements, such as working-hour shifts, work from home (WFH), where feasible and on rotation basis.

They also discouraged prolonged face-to-face interaction between workers and clients and masks shall be worn at all times and not removed.

Meetings needing physical presence shall be kept to a minimum number of participants and with a short duration. Videoconferencing shall be used for lengthy discussions among workers.

It added that the workstation layout should be designed to “allow for unidirectional movement in aisles, corridors, and walkways”.

In case a worker is suspected as having Covid-19, the DOLE and DTI said the workers shall immediately proceed to isolation area designated in the workplace and never remove his/her mask; and if needed should require the transport of the affected workers to the nearest hospital. There should be company protocols for transport of suspect Covid-19 cases for PCR testing.

Employers are required to provide DOLE through its regional office and copy furnished the Department of Health, monthly reporting of illness and diseases using the DOLE Work Accident/Illness Report Form (WAIR)

The guidelines are effective immediately. (IA/PNA)

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