Health protocol measures have been in place following the call to reinforce health and safety for workers belonging to the construction industry.

PRDP Central Visayas reinforces safety health protocols in project implementation amid COVID-19

Date Published: September 21, 2020

With the aim to combat COVID-19, the Social Environmental Safeguards (SES) Unit of the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) in Central Visayas immediately handed out supplemental guidelines on Community and Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) to subproject contractors.

Armed with these supplemental guidelines, the contractors have integrated the immediate adaptation as soon as their operations resumed. The social environmental safeguards officer shall closely monitor the COSH guidelines through virtual meetings.

Heeding the guidelines meant constant re-echoing of the standard health protocols like physical distancing, wearing of face mask, frequent handwashing and regular temperature check, said a representative from the PhilSouth Builders, contractor in-charge for the rehabilitation of the 18.5 kilometer Hilaitan to Trinidad farm-to-market road in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental.

Engr. Teresito B. Maderazo Jr., the Project Engineer of PhilSouth Builders, compared the supplemental guidelines to a “helmet” as it signifies added protection and safety.

“In terms of integrating the guidelines in our daily operations, I believe our score would be seven, with ten being the highest. This is because we give leeway to those workers who perform strenuous work for as long as the physical distancing rule is strictly observed,” said Engr. Maderazo Jr.

Aside from the mentioned health protocols, regular office disinfection and temperature checks for those employed and staying in the barracks are some of their best practices. On top of these, locally hired workers are frequently reminded to inform their respective barangays for any recurring fevers while a logbook system is made available for those workers who come from adjacent municipalities. The observance of limited number of workers transported on vehicles to the designated road sections is also observed to ensure personnel health safety.

YS Construction, in-charge of the rehabilitation of the 6.94-km Dagnawan to Dagohoy farm-to-market road in Inabanga, Bohol, provided the necessary health essential items such as temperature guns, alcohol, disinfection kits and face masks to their workers in response to the supplemental guidelines of the PRDP SES. However, the mandatory wearing of facemasks to workers is quite challenging to some.

According to Engr. Rhio Suarez, Project Engineer of YS Construction, they are implementing the strict observance of the physical distancing rule, daily sanitation procedures, and limited number of passengers’ onboard vehicles. The wearing of face masks, however, is less followed since workers would complain of difficulty in breathing especially when the work is strenuous.

“With this pandemic, I make sure everyone observes and follows the health protocols. I do random checkups at their designated work areas to ensure they get accustomed to the protocols,” said Engr. Suarez.

He added that they designated the project foreman to assist in the monitoring of personnel, as well as provision of other additional health equipment needed in the area.

To further ensure the contractor’s compliance, the local government unit of Inabanga and barangay officials have made their presence felt by putting workers under random monitoring to ensure health protocols are followed. (Bexmae Jumao-as, Writer, RPCO 7)

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