Government agencies launched on Friday the monitoring of the implementation of minimum health standards for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in workplaces in the Eastern Visayas region.
Key officials of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) launched the activity at Robinsons Place Tacloban North.
Joint teams in provinces are expected to kick off the activity next week.
DTI 8 (Eastern Visayas) Director Celerina Bato said they have to check if business establishments are compliant with the minimum health standards set by the Department of Health (DOH) and the World Health Organization.
“The monitoring will cover all establishments since we are after the safety of everyone. This is not an inspection since there’s no penal provision in the interim guidelines,” Bato told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
DOLE-8 Director Yahya Centi asked business firms to sustain disease prevention measures during the community quarantine or even after movement restriction so long as a vaccine for Covid-19 is not yet available.
“We are not here as a watchdog but as technical people. We have to end the Covid-19 through social means through observing minimum health standards,” Centi said.
Under the interim guidelines issued by DTI and DOLE on April 30, all those who will enter a workplace should wear a face mask at all times and remove it only when eating or drinking.
Employers are asked to provide the appropriate face masks for workers, according to the guidelines.
All are also required to accomplish a daily health symptoms form, undergo temperature check, and have them recorded in the health symptoms questionnaire.
The employer must provide the monthly reporting of illness, diseases, and injuries using the DOLE work accident/illness report form to the labor department through its regional office and furnish a copy to the DOH.
As a rule, if a worker has a temperature of more than 37.5°C, even after a five-minute rest, or if his response in the questionnaire needs further evaluation by the clinic staff, the person will be isolated in an area identified by the company and will not be allowed to enter the workplace premises.
Clinic staff assigned to assess the workers held in the isolation area will be provided the appropriate medical grade personal protective equipment by the establishment, which will include but will not be limited to face masks, goggles/face shields, and or gloves.
Disinfection must also be done for equipment or vehicle entering the establishments, including facilities, and touched objects, such as doorknobs and handles, at least once every two hours.
On top of observing at all times physical distancing, proper respiratory etiquette, and disinfection protocols, eating in communal areas are also discouraged, and if this is not possible, the employer will ensure a one-worker-per-table and one-meter-distance-per-worker schemes.
Workers are also discouraged to engage in conversation, as well as prolonged face-to-face interaction with co-workers and clients.
Meetings needing physical presence must also be reduced or avoided.
If there will be a long queue outside the office or store offices, roving officers should instill physical distancing of one meter.
As of Thursday, the region has 344 confirmed Covid-19 cases with 38 recoveries and zero death.
Source: Philippines News Agency