Off-duty laborers confined to quarters when construction work resumes

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Off-duty laborers confined to quarters when construction work resumes
While gov't officials keep repeating orders for people to stay at home during quarantine, construction workers unable to return home are seen begging for food or cash from motorists along Macapagal Blvd. in Pasay City on Monday, May 11, 2020.
The STAR / Geremy Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines — The government has approved safety guidelines for the resumption of work on infrastructure projects, including requiring workers to stay in their quarters for the entire duration of the project covered by the quarantine and limiting persons who may enter construction sites.

The guidelines were released days after the government's task force on the coronavirus pandemic allowed public and essential private construction work and infrastructure projects in areas that are under enhanced or general community quarantine.  

Construction firms are required to conduct an inventory of works for the construction sequencing to be followed to maintain social distancing.

Break times should also be staggered to prevent crowding.

Employees should be in their respective quarters for the entire duration of the project covered by the enhanced community quarantine and the general community quarantine. If there are no available quarters, "prior to deployment” procedures have to be conducted at every instance of reentry of people.

Errands to be conducted outside the construction site premises should be kept to a minimum. Supervisors should also ensure that the number of personnel running errands would be limited, properly disinfected, and closely monitored for symptoms within 14 days upon reentry.

Field offices, employees’ quarters, and other common areas should be regularly disinfected.

Concessionaires, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers should provide in–house personnel adequate food, safe and potable drinking water, disinfectants and hand soaps to their workers.

The health condition of workers should be monitored daily. Personnel with coronavirus symptoms relative should undergo a 14-day quarantine and should be brought to the nearest treatment facility, if necessary.A safety officer should strictly monitor work activities to ensure compliance with safety standards and quarantine protocols.

For government construction projects, engineers from the public works department should ensure strict compliance with the wearing of additional personal protective equipment.

Contractors of essential private construction projects under general community quarantine must assign a safety officer to ensure that social distancing measures are observed. Off-site employees should be provided with quarters and transport services that are disinfected regularly.

Sharing of construction and office equipment is discouraged. If sharing cannot be avoided, the shared equipment must be disinfected in between transfers among personnel.

All material and equipment delivery and disposal should be conducted by a specific team of personnel on an isolated loading and unloading zone and shall be duly disinfected. Non-essential personnel will not be allowed to enter the construction site, employees’ quarters, and field offices.

All personnel entering the construction site on a temporary basis should be properly logged and checked for coronavirus symptoms.

Gatherings, liquors, or merry–making are strictly prohibited within the construction site. Managers should see to it that clustered and staggered deployment of employees within the construction site is observed. They should also ensure that there is proper waste disposal of infectious waste such as PPEs and other waste products coming from outside the construction premises. 

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