The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) institutionalized the Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSH) among its workforce regardless of their status.
DSWD on Tuesday, June 15, said that the move is in line with its efforts to continuously promote the welfare of its personnel and employees by ensuring a safe and healthy working environment amid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
To protect the department’s personnel from hazards of injury, sickness or death through the adoption and maintenance of safe and healthy working conditions, DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista signed Administrative Order No. 3, Series of 2021.
This, DSWD said, is pursuant to the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 Series of 2021 on OSH Standards for Public Sector by the Civil Service Commission (CSC), Department of Health (DoH), and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The said policy covers all DSWD workplaces – including the central office, field offices, centers, residential care facilities and provincial satellite offices.
As stated in the administrative order, the workplace should have “safety instructions and visible signs in building premises; well-maintained and good housekeeping in offices, machine, and equipment; sanitary facilities such as comfort rooms and lavatories; and maintained indoor air quality.”
Likewise, the workplaces should also have “managed safety and security; and provisions of personal protective equipment and health clinic or treatment room with complete first aid kits and medical supplies.”
Moreover, DSWD noted that emergency preparedness programs, occupational safety and health programs, support facilities, and reasonable working hours, breaks and leave privileges “must be given to the personnel in compliance to the said policy.”
The recent policy, DSWD explained, also highlights the implementation of policies and programs relative to achieving a healthy working environment such as Drug-Free Workplace Program; Tuberculosis prevention campaign; Hepatitis B, HIV and AIDS education programs; and medical assistance and other benefits for employees.
DSWD personnel are also “tasked to participate in the comprehensive dissemination of OSH information and education programs.”
Meanwhile, DSWD said that the heads of Offices, Bureaus, Services at the Central Office and Field Offices are “mandated to provide employees reasonable working conditions and a workplace that is free from hazards, accident, and emergency.”
Despite the ongoing public health situation, DSWD commits to continue “promoting the welfare not only of its clients and stakeholders but also of its personnel who are the frontliners in providing the needed social protection services to the public.”