DOLE sets protocols for workplaces operating in quarantine

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) released on Friday, May 1, interim guidelines for workplaces still operating either under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) or General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

The protocols entail strict record-keeping by employers, including the monthly reporting of illness, diseases and injuries that employers must submit to DOLE regional offices.

The records must include:

If a worker registers a temperature of 37.5°C and above, and if it remains to be so after a 5-minute rest, the person shall be isolated in an area provided by the company.

The same isolation protocol must apply to a worker whose answers in his health questionnaire needs further evaluation as assessed by a clinic staff.

"Clinic staff assigned to assess the workers held in the isolation area shall be provided the appropriate medical grade Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) by the establishment which shall include but not limited to, face masks, goggles/face shields, and or gloves," said DOLE 

Even visitors of the workplace are required to fill out the health questionnaire.

Workers are required to wear face masks at all time.

"Employers shall provide the appropriate face masks for workers," said DOLE.

DOLE added: "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."

Companies are required to enforce physical distancing measures. DOLE said "workers are also discouraged to engage in conversation, as well as prolonged face to face interaction with workers and clients."

For workers who are exhibiting symptoms, DOLE said companies must have a hotline mechanism for reporting. 

“Employers may test workers for COVID-19. Testing kits used and procured shall be the responsibility of the employer,” said DOLE.

DOLE has earlier issued guidelines for companies to adopt adjustments and avoid laying off workers amid the pandemic. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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