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Safety officers to monitor infra projects’ quarantine protocols

MANILA – Safety officers will have to be assigned in construction sites of both public and private sectors to ensure compliance to safety standards and quarantine protocols against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

This is among the construction safety guidelines for the resumption of infrastructure projects during the Covid-19 health crisis released by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) through Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a virtual presser on Monday.

“Work activities shall be strictly monitored by the Safety Officer to ensure compliance to safety standards, and quarantine protocols,” stated in the safety guidelines approved by the IATF-EID.

For government construction projects, the IATF-EID said safety officers have to make a daily health monitoring report and undergo strict daily monitoring.

It also said that Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) engineers on site shall ensure strict compliance to the wearing of additional personal protective equipment (PPE).

“Contractors of essential private construction projects under GCQ (general community quarantine) shall assign a full-time safety officer to ensure the implementation of social distancing measures,” the task force said.

During the Laging Handa program last Saturday, Roque said the IATF-EID has allowed the resumption of construction and infrastructure projects of both public and private sectors in areas placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

He said the task force agreed to amend the omnibus guidelines for ECQ enforcement which initially prohibits the implementation of construction and infrastructure projects in areas that have a high risk for Covid-19.

Other construction safety guidelines issued by the IATF-EID include:
— Conduct of inventory works for the construction sequencing to be followed and undertaken to maintain social distancing;
— Break times shall be conducted in a staggered manner;
— Employees should be in their respective quarters for the entire duration of the project covered by the ECQ and GCQ. Otherwise, prior to deployment procedures shall be conducted at every instance of re-entry;
— Errands to be conducted outside the construction site premises shall be kept to a minimum. Number of personnel running errands shall be limited, properly disinfected, and closely monitored for symptoms within 14 days upon re-entry;
— Field offices, employees’ quarters, and other common areas shall be regularly disinfected;
— Concessionaires, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers, shall provide in-house personnel with adequate food, safe/potable drinking water, disinfectants, hand soaps;
— Daily monitoring of pre and post health conditions of workers (e.g. checking temperature);
— Personnel with symptoms relative to Covid-19 shall be quarantined for 14 days and brought to the nearest Department of Health (DOH) Covid-19 treatment facility if necessary;
— For off-site employees: quarters and transport service will be provided and disinfected regularly, before and after use;
— Sharing of construction and office equipment is discouraged. However, if necessary, the shared equipment must be disinfected in between transfers amongst personnel;
— All material and equipment delivery and disposal shall be conducted by a specific team of personnel on an isolated loading/unloading zone, and shall be duly disinfected, as possible;
— Non-essential personnel will not be allowed to enter the construction site, employees’ quarters, and field offices;
— All personnel entering the site premises on a temporary basis shall be properly logged and checked for symptoms;
— Gatherings, liquor, and/or merry-making are strictly prohibited within the construction site premises;
— Clustered and staggered deployment of employees within the construction site shall be observed; and
— Proper waste disposal shall be provided for infectious waste such as PPEs (personal protective equipment) and other waste products coming from outside the construction premises.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles earlier said the government’s flagship “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program will help “jumpstart” the economy from the impact of Covid-19.

With only five days left before ECQ expires, Metro Manila mayors sought another 15-day extension of the more stringent community quarantine.

Malacañang said the recommendation of the Metro Manila mayors will be considered.

ECQ is being enforced in high-risk areas for Covid-19 namely Metro Manila; Central Luzon, except Aurora; Calabarzon; Benguet; Pangasinan; Iloilo province; Cebu province; Bacolod City; Davao City; Zamboanga City; and Albay province.

Areas listed as low-risk for Covid-19 are currently under GCQ. (PNA)

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Written by pinoyako

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