Press Releases
DOLE, DTI team up to achieve COVID-free workplaces in Ilocos Region

 

City of San Fernando, LA UNION - As businesses gradually resume operations, the DOLE-Regional Office I, in partnership with the DTI-RO I, has stepped up the monitoring of establishments to ensure their compliance with safety and health measures to prevent and control COVID-19 transmission. 

Joint inspection teams of the two Departments rolled out the activity in a mall in this city on June 10 pursuant to the DOLE-DTI Interim Guidelines signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III and Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez on April 30, 2020. 

DOLE-RO I Regional Director Nathaniel V. Lacambra said the monitoring aims to assist private institutions that are allowed to operate during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and General Community Quarantine (GCQ) in developing the minimum health protocols and standards in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Applicable to all workplaces, employers and workers in the private sector, the guidelines prescribe safety and health standards aligned with the minimum health standards of the Department of Health, starting from increasing physical and mental resilience, reducing transmission of COVID-19, minimizing contact rate and reducing the risk of infection. 

“We want to emphasize that the prevention and control of COVID-19 is a shared responsibility of employers and workers,” Director Lacambra said. 

Basically, employers are required to provide the necessary company policies, resources and materials, designate safety officers, implement advocacy and IEC programs and put up hotline and monitoring schemes to prevent and control COVID-19.  Where feasible, they must provide shuttle services and/or decent accommodation on near-site location to lessen travel and people movement, enhance health insurance for workers and enjoin hiring from the local community. 

Workers, on the other hand, should comply with all measures in place for the prevention and control of the disease. 

Director Lacambra bared that monitoring results showed compliance, inadequate compliance and non-compliance by establishments with prescribed safety and health protocols.  

Compliance in general includes wearing of face masks, temperature checks, spraying of alcohol/sanitizers on both hands and use of footbath for workers and customers at mall entrance; provision of clean water and soap at washrooms or toilets; adoption of alternative work arrangements and earmarking of funds for COVID prevention and control. 

Among the inadequacies are signages on safety protocols, designated safety and health personnel, foot markings for social distancing and one-way directional instructions, one-meter physical distancing, disinfection of frequently handled objects at an interval of not less than two hours, disinfection of tools/equipment every after use, transparent barriers between office tables and open work spaces, social distancing when eating in communal space and provision and proper wearing of PPEs. 

Some companies were found to have no Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) program in compliance with the DOLE-DTI Interim Guidelines, isolation area for workers and customers and disinfection of equipment and vehicle entering the company premises. 

To correct the deficiencies, the inspection teams provided the monitored establishments with specific strategies and recommendations.  The establishments were also guided on how to integrate the DOLE-DTI Interim Guidelines in their anti-COVID measures. 

Employers are required to submit to the DOLE-RO I, copy furnished the DOH, monthly report of illness, diseases and injuries utilizing the DOLE Work, Accident/Illness Report (WAIR) form. END/Arly Sta. Ana-Valdez with report from DOLE-TSSD

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2020-06-16
RD Nat V. Lacambra
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