Company safety officers should be designated to monitor COVID-19 prevention and control measures such as physical distancing, wearing of masks, regular disinfection, compliance to thermal scanning and accomplishing health symptoms questionnaire, Ticao added. * Clinic staff assigned to assess the workers held in the isolation area shall be provided the appropriate medical-grade PPEs by the establishment which shall include but not limited to, facemasks, goggles/face shields, and or gloves. * Private establishments are also mandated to implement alternative work arrangements such as working-hour shifts or work from home (WFH), where feasible, and on a rotation basis. Work agreements should be developed which would detail the deliverables from these employees and there shall be no diminution in wages or benefits. * Where feasible, shuttle services and/or decent accommodation on near-site location should also be provided to lessen travel and people movement. ILOILO City – Are you ready to go back to work? The guidelines likewise mandate companies to put up a COVID-19 hotline for employees to report if symptomatic. * Employers shall provide the appropriate facemasks and other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to workers. Employers must provide the DOLE, copy furnished the Department of Health, the monthly reporting of illness, diseases, and injuries utilizing the DOLE Work Accident/Illness Report Form (WAIR). “Employers may test workers for COVID-19. Testing kits procured and used shall be the responsibility of the employers,” said Ticao as Western Visayas’ businesses and workplaces begin to reopen tomorrow under a general community quarantine. * Equipment or vehicles entering the hub operational area must go through a disinfection process. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has released interim guidelines, according to Regional Director Cyril Ticao. To reduce the transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in workplaces, workers and employers are mandated to observe strict health and safety protocols under the “new normal.” * Prolonged face-to-face interaction between workers and with clients is discouraged. Online systems are highly encouraged to be utilized for clients including the use of videoconferencing. * Sanitizers must be made available at specific areas where workers pass. GUIDELINES * Washrooms and toilets must have sufficient clean water and soap. Establishments in Region 6 may send their WAIR reports to [email protected] In the event a worker is suspected of having COVID-19, he or she must immediately be isolated or brought to the nearest hospital, if needed. * Employers and workers must observe physical distancing, disinfection protocols, and proper cough etiquette at all times. * If a worker has a temperature of more than 37.5 degrees Celsius even after a five-minute rest, or if his responses in the health questionnaire need 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. * As to meetings, those which need physical presence must be reduced and the participants kept to a minimum. Lengthy discussions shall be done through videoconferencing. * Eating in communal areas is discouraged but if this is not possible, the employer shall ensure a one-worker-per- table and one-meter-distance-per-worker set-up. Ticao said in the case of most “at risk” workers and vulnerable groups – those 60 years old or of any age with co-morbidities or pre-existing illness such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer, or with immunocompromised health status, or with high-risk pregnancy – employers are highly encouraged to implement a work-from-home scheme. “DOLE shall extend assistance and technical support to all workplaces, employers and workers in complying with the interim guidelines,” said Ticao./PN * All employers and workers must subject themselves to temperature check, accomplish the health symptoms questionnaire (which can be downloaded from DOLE Region 6’s Facebook page and website) and wear facemasks before they can enter the workplace.