THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, disclosed that almost 10,000 business establishments in the country failed to comply with health and safety standards to protect its workers from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

During the hearing of the House of Representatives committee on appropriations, DOLE Assistant Secretary Maria Teresita Cucueco said 9,943 business establishments were not able to comply with the agency’s health protocols in August.

“In August, there are 40,943 establishments that were inspected. We have already seen 31,000 establishments that have been complying, with a compliance rate of 75 percent,” she said.

She did not specify which guidelines were not followed.

Under the interim guidelines on workplace prevention and control of Covid-19, which was released by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and DOLE on May 1,2020, all employees are asked to wear face masks at all times.

The guidelines have been amended to also require the public to always wear face shields in the workplace as well as in public transportation systems and public areas.

They must also accomplish a daily health symptoms questionnaire which will be submitted to the guard or the establishment’s safety officer.

The body temperature of the employees must also be checked and recorded from time to time. Any personnel with temperature greater than 37 degree celsius must be immediately isolated.

The guidelines also asked business establishments to provide anti-bacterial sanitizers in the establishment’s corridors, conference areas, elevators, and stairways.

Alternative working arrangements, such as working-hour shifts, and work from home are also highly encouraged. (SunStar Philippines)