Workplace rules out to cut spread of COVID-19
To reduce the transmission of Covid-19, workers and employers in the private sector and government officials and employees will be mandated to observe strict health protocols as the MGCQ remains in effect in Baguio City.
In the interim guidelines on workplace prevention and control of Covid-19 signed by Trade Sec. Ramon Lopez and Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello III, workers and employers in the private sector and for the government the guidelines provided by the Civil Service Commission will be required to follow precautionary measures as the country grapples with the containment of the Covid-19.
Among the salient features of the guidelines which is similar to that of the government guidelines are: Before entering the workplace, all employers and workers must wear face masks (to be provided by the employer) at all times, which will only be removed when eating/drinking and all is required to accomplish daily health symptoms form, undergo temperature check, and have them recorded in the health symptoms questionnaire.
As a rule, if a worker has a temperature of 37.5°C and up even after a five-minute rest, or if his response in the questionnaire needs further evaluation by the clinic staff, the person shall 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 shall be provided the appropriate medical grade personal protective equipment by the establishment which shall include but not limited to, face masks, goggles/face shields, and or gloves.
Employers must provide the Department of Labor and Employment, the monthly reporting of illness, diseases, and injuries using the DOLE Work Accident/Illness Report Form. Disinfecting must be done on equipment or vehicles entering the establishments, including facilities, and touched objects, such as doorknobs and handles, at least once every two hours.
It is also reminded that physical distancing must be observed at all times, observe proper respiratory etiquette and disinfection protocols, eating in communal areas are discouraged, and meetings that require physical presence musts be reduced or avoided.
Also, private establishments are mandated to implement alternative work arrangements, such as working-hour shifts, work from home, where feasible, and on a rotation basis; a worker suspected of having Covid-19 must be brought to the nearest hospital, if needed.
A work agreement is required from employers which would detail the deliverables from these employees and there shall be no diminution in wages or benefits.
It is important to note that the guidelines are aligned with the minimum health standards of the Department of Health.
Most ‘at risk’ workers and vulnerable groups, or those 60 years old or any age with co-morbidities or pre-existing illness, such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer, or those who are immune-compromised or with high-risk pregnancy are encouraged to do a work from home arrangement.