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COVID-19 PROTOCOLS
FOR CONSTRUCTION SITES
WORKERS’ SAFETY AND SECURITY

Version 3
25 April 2020
Philippine Constructors Association COVID-19 PROTOCOLS FOR CONSTRUCTION SITES AND WORKERS’ SAFETY & SECURITY

Table of Contents
Foreword ..................................................................................................................................... 2
Prevention................................................................................................................................... 2
Proper Work Attire .................................................................................................................. 2
Proper Communication and Awareness ................................................................................... 3
Construction Site Cleaning....................................................................................................... 4
Delivery ................................................................................................................................... 4
Site Operations............................................................................................................................ 5
General Guidelines................................................................................................................... 5
Additional Guidelines for Vertical and Horizontal Projects....................................................... 6
Detection..................................................................................................................................... 6
Screening................................................................................................................................. 6
Suspected Cases of COVID-19 ................................................................................................ 7
Other Measures ........................................................................................................................... 8
Risk Assessment and Response ............................................................................................... 8
Latest Updates and Developments .......................................................................................... 8
Additional Resources................................................................................................................... 9

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Philippine Constructors Association COVID-19 PROTOCOLS FOR CONSTRUCTION SITES AND WORKERS’ SAFETY & SECURITY

Foreword

We are prepared to restart works as soon as the ECQ is lifted


or modified, but we also have to ensure our workers safety.

The year started on an upbeat note with the launch of the action plan for the 10-year industry
roadmap—then along came the coronavirus pandemic. On 17 March 2020, the Philippines’ main
island, Luzon, was put on a one-month Enhanced Community Quarantine.

Extended to 30 April 2020, any decision on its extension, modification or lifting would be known
before the end of the week. In the meantime, except for building of essential emergency medical
facilities, construction activities in the entire country has grinded to an almost complete halt.
Undeniably, the crisis has put a heavy toll on all sectors of society.

To fuel the rebound, Philippine Government officials have said that “infrastructure will be the
most powerful tool governments everywhere can employ in restarting the economy after the
devastation wrought by the pandemic.” While the Philippine construction industry is ready to
return to work, it does so cognizant of new norms, that would require new thinking patterns.

As we prepare to go back to work, the COVID-19 Protocols for Construction Sites and Workers’
Safety and Security:

• Updates the first version published last 31 March 2020


• Takes into consideration that each construction jobsites, and offices are different, and for that
matter, client requirements
• Incorporates the standards of the Department of Labor and Employment-Occupational Safety
and Health (DOLE-OSHC) and the Department of Health (DOH)
• Provides the minimum requirements, but at the same time suggests additional measures
“It only takes one guy to contaminate everyone.” Let us do our part to safeguard each jobsite.

Prevention

Proper Work Attire

• All workers must wear the prescribed clothing of the DOLE-OSHC:

o Shirt with sleeves


o Pants
o Closed-toe boots
o Hard hat
o High visibility vest
o Other necessary Personal Protective Equipment (i.e. face masks, gloves, goggles, face
shields, etc.) shall be prescribed on specific characteristics of projects as this may further
compromise worker safety

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Philippine Constructors Association COVID-19 PROTOCOLS FOR CONSTRUCTION SITES AND WORKERS’ SAFETY & SECURITY

• As per the DOH, all workers are expected to wear proper face masks, i.e., surgical face masks.

o Cloth mask can be an adequate substitute, if wearing a face shield


o N-95 masks may cause respiration problems if worn too long

Proper Communication and Awareness

• Active communication between the workers, safety officers, site supervisors, and
management is advised in planning and implementing the protocols.

o All languages and dialects should be accounted for to ensure proper communication

• Clear signages on health and safety measures are posted at the entry points during the
COVID-19 crisis:

o Daily updates on the latest developments


o Self-screening measures

• As much as possible, all workers should exercise the practices for reducing the risk of
transmission, and proper hygiene as identified by the DOH:

o Social distancing (at least 6 feet distance from next person)


o Proper handwashing (or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when unavailable)
o Avoid contact with own eyes, nose, and mouth
o Prohibit spitting
o Covering of mouth with tissue or arm (if tissue is unavailable) when sneezing or coughing
o Use and remove PPE with care
o Do not share personal belongings such as phones, pens, PPEs
o Avoid physical greetings (e.g. handshakes, hugs)

• All workers’ status on-site and off-site, are properly noted at all times by the safety officers.

o Fit to work
o Sick
o High temperature
o Other conditions

• Personnel, who are in charge of tracking of the safety and health of the workers, e.g., safety
officers, are required to attend a ‘crash course’ in health procedures with the DOH.

• An acceptable level of health evaluation is properly communicated between new hires and
management.

• All workers would need to provide their location or place of residence prior to working. This
is to help create a proper algorithm for contact tracing.

o Additionally, workers coming from COVID-19 hotspots would need to be identified

• Quarantined workers should also be kept track of under strict confidentiality and privacy.

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Philippine Constructors Association COVID-19 PROTOCOLS FOR CONSTRUCTION SITES AND WORKERS’ SAFETY & SECURITY

Construction Site Cleaning

• All offices and jobsites should disinfect the following at least twice per day:

o Door handles
o Railings
o Ladders
o Switches
o Controls
o Shared equipment
o Common and eating areas
o Personal workstations

• Hands and common tools/equipment are cleaned or disinfected after each task.

o Individuals should be aware of where the commonly used items are placed

• All offices and jobsites should implement additional cleaning measures of common areas as
recommended by the DOH.

• Management can look up possible decontamination chambers (e.g. chlorine, iodine, betadine,
potassium persulfate).

o Demisting only decontaminates the surface, thus the need for PPEs

• Suggested additional sanitary measures to be implemented/installed on site but are not


limited to the following:

o Water stations
o Proper handwashing areas and hand washing protocol
o Alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations
o Disinfectant wiping products

• Limit and remove internal touch point areas (e.g. coffee machines, water fountains, common
pens). If possible, also remove doors/ door handles for jobsites.

Delivery

• All equipment and material deliveries must be carefully planned and monitored.

• Transition and delivery zones are identified and limited to select personnel, i.e., receivers and
deliverers.
o Transition personnel are regularly tested, and given required PPEs
o Social distancing and other protocols by the DOH are followed

• As much as possible, cargo is unloaded only by the receivers, while the deliverers do not
leave their vehicles.

• All cargo should undergo proper disinfection procedures before use. Likewise, involved staff
should also properly disinfect before entering the jobsite.

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Philippine Constructors Association COVID-19 PROTOCOLS FOR CONSTRUCTION SITES AND WORKERS’ SAFETY & SECURITY

o Materials, which are exposed to the sun, such as concrete and gravel, chances are they
do not need to be disinfected

Site Operations

General Guidelines

• All jobsites must follow the protocols, and guidelines set by the local municipalities, provinces
and region. (See Guidelines Governing Occupational Safety and Health in The Construction
Industry link at page 8)

• All non-essential workers are prohibited from entering the jobsite.

• Business-related travelling should be limited unless necessary.

• All visitors entering and exiting the workplace should be properly logged at all times. (see
sample format at page 9)

• All employees should properly sign in and sign out also be noted. (See sample format at
page 10-11)

• Barracks, with adequate spacing, should be available for occupancy.

• Occupants of the barracks, who will run errands, should seek permission from either the
site supervisor or safety officer.

o He/she should have proper PPEs when making such transactions


o He/she would need to properly be disinfected once entering the worksite

• If possible, compartmentalize construction site or have other methods to keep different


workers physically separated. This will promote social distancing and will make containment
of possible outbreak easier.

o Upper limit on the number of people per zone is advised


o Management can consider reducing workforce in the jobsite

• If possible, establish one-way staircases and walkways to minimize worker’s contacts.

• Limit the number of people operating or occupying freight elevators.

• All workers should respect social distancing guidelines, as much as possible.

• Split/alternating shifts are encouraged to avoid extensive intermingling.

• Breaks should be staggered to limit the number of people in proximity with each other.
Moreover, individuals are expected to clean up their own areas after eating with proper
disinfectants

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Philippine Constructors Association COVID-19 PROTOCOLS FOR CONSTRUCTION SITES AND WORKERS’ SAFETY & SECURITY

• As much as possible, smoking areas should have proper social distancing guidelines, upper
limit on the number of people, and disposal areas for cigarettes.

• A proper waste and disposal area must be provided, as well as proper disposal of
contaminated products.

• The site supervisors and safety officers are expected to conduct daily audits, and safety
reports to management in order to make sure that the appropriate measures are implemented
and followed.

Additional Guidelines for Vertical and Horizontal Projects

• If possible, all construction workers are to be housed in either on-site barracks, or off-site
barracks. This would make monitoring of workers’ activities easier.

• All workers must use the same vehicles they came into work in, if returning to the off-site
barracks
• All vehicles would need to be disinfected, before being ready for use the next day
• Workers, who leave the barracks without proper authorization, are subject to taking the
3-step procedure at their own cost. (See screening)

• Returning workers, who have not been tested for COVID-19, would need to be quarantined
in the isolation rooms for 14 days.

• Management can also look into using the floors of buildings, as barracks, with proper
permission of the owners.

Detection

Screening

• Management should have an understanding and plan on how the workers travel to and
from the jobsites.

o Management can also look into providing a shuttle service for its workers

• All individuals with history of travel, or who has come into contact with someone with COVID-
19 knowingly, are required to self-quarantine for 14 days before working.

o It is ideal that all workers are tested, if testing kits are available
o If testing kits are available but limited, priority will be given to those coming from those
COVID-19 hotspots

• All individuals should be properly screened and undergo temperature checking before
entering the jobsite. The individual should also attest that they are not experiencing flu-like
symptoms:

o Fever
o Coughing

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Philippine Constructors Association COVID-19 PROTOCOLS FOR CONSTRUCTION SITES AND WORKERS’ SAFETY & SECURITY

o Shortness of breath
o Chills

• Additionally, returning workers, who did not live in the barracks, must undergo a 14-day
quarantine in the worksite, or the 3-step procedure:

o Rapid antigen test (RAT)


o DOH checklist evaluation
o Physical exam

Suspected Cases of COVID-19

• Workers, who are exhibiting strong symptoms in the jobsite or upon screening, are to be
quarantined on-site or near the jobsite so the situation can be closely monitored and
controlled. Upon transfer of workers to quarantine facility, it should be standard that:

o Both the driver, and the passenger should wear a mask


o The driver would be in charge of opening and closing the doors for the passenger
o All equipment, and areas exposed to the worker should then be properly disinfected,
before being used again
o Medical personnel to assess the possible case of COVID-19. (See sample format at page
12-14)
o For additional testing, coordinate with the DOH accredited testing centers. (See page 15)

• Any individual exhibiting flu-like symptoms should not report to work. Instead, they should
do the following:

o Self-isolate, alert their safety officers or other applicable authorities


o Contract proper health authorities for additional guidance

• Employees, who had the COVID-19 virus, should do the following before reporting to work:

o Fulfill the adequate time for self-quarantining as recommended by the DOH


o Test negative for COVID-19
o Receive proper medical clearance, before reporting to work.

• In the event of a worker contracting COVID-19 while working, the management should do
the following:

o Contact local government and health authorities


o Gather records of all people who have worked with the infected worker, who tested
positive within the past four weeks
o Gather information on those who have been in location or shared equipment with the
person
o Provide COVID-19 testing to all workers, who have been working closely with the infected
individual
o Be ready to present the information to the appropriate authorities
o Inform the wider workforce of the situation while protecting the privacy of the individual
o Clean and disinfected all site surfaces and equipment
o Follow any additional directions from local government and health authorities

• For senior personnel, who are working in multiple jobsites, they are expected to self-
quarantine for at least 14 days, if there has been a breach in one of their jobsites.

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Philippine Constructors Association COVID-19 PROTOCOLS FOR CONSTRUCTION SITES AND WORKERS’ SAFETY & SECURITY

• The safety officer should have a knowledge on the proximate hospitals or quarantine facilities
to ensure that in the event of a COVID-19 incident, workers can be given proper healthcare.

Other Measures

Risk Assessment and Response

• All contractors would need to guarantee the minimum level of standards to protect the health
of the workers engaged in the construction sites. Likewise, they will shoulder the additional
costs for the implementation of these standards.

o Management should provide a criterion to ensure workers are safe from the virus

• Before any activity is resumed, all hazards, due to the halting of work, must be reviewed and
controlled.

o Workers involved should have proper understanding of the operations and environment
condition checking

• If possible, avoid mass gatherings and use telecommunication to accommodate meetings.

• An integrated continuity plan should also be provided in the event of a partial or complete
shutdown of jobsite or if jobsite operations are severely limited.

• Additional steps and measures would need to be done by companies, who cannot afford to
pay barracks.

Latest Updates and Developments

• PCA will be updating the protocols, as necessary, due to the rapidly changing situation.

• For additional guidance, and the latest information refer to:

o Updates on COVID-19 - https://www.doh.gov.ph/2019-nCov/.


o Guidelines Governing Occupational Safety and Health in The Construction Industry -
http://www.oshc.dole.gov.ph/images/Files/DO_13.pdf

• You may reach us through –

o Email: pcainc.secretariat@gmail.com
o Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/philippineconstructors.org/
o LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/philippineconstructors/
o Website: https://www.philippineconstructors.org/

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Additional Resources

Project :
Location :
Date :
Subject : SIGN - IN REGISTRY FOR VISITORS
Been in contact
with someone Had any COVID-
Purpose Person to Mode of Contact Time-
No. Full Name Location of Origin Company with COVID-19 19 SYMPTOMS Time-In Signature
of Visit Visit Transportation Number Out
SYMPTOMS (Y /N )
(Y /N )
Project :
Location :
Date :
Subject : SIGN - IN REGISTRY FOR INCOMING PERSONNEL
Been in
contact with Had any
Mode of someone with COVID-19
No. Full Name Location of Origin Contact Number Time-In Time-Out Signature
Transportation COVID-19 SYMPTOMS
SYMPTOMS (Y/N)
(Y/N)
Project :
Location :
Date :
Subject : SIGN - OUT REGISTRY FOR OUTGOING PERSONNEL

Place of Company or Person Purpose of Mode of


No. Full Name Time-Out Time-In Signature
Destination to Visit Going-Out Transportation

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As of 19 April 2020

The Department of Health has licensed 17 laboratories in the country that are capable of conducting Real-Time RT-
PCR for COVID-19.

Taken from the Official Department of Health (Philippines) Facebook page.

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