“Ensuring the protection of all workers and their families is of utmost importance during this time of pandemic, thus we want to avoid all opportunities that may lead to the spread of Covid-19. In compliance to the Presidential Proclamation Nos. 922 and 929 which placed the entire Philippines under the State of Public Health Emergency and State of Calamity, we are directing all DOLE-accredited safety training organizations (STOs) to desist from conducting face to face trainings until the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases lifts the prohibitions on mass gatherings,” said Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSH) Executive Director Noel C. Binag, CE.

The memorandum issued by the OSHC today, May 12, 2020 also encourages the DOLE-accredited STOs to develop and conduct the mandatory occupational safety and health (OSH) trainings via on-line platforms.

The OSHC will issue interim accreditations to DOLE-accredited STOs who want to conduct real-time, self-directed, or blended on-line training formats subject to the guidelines provided in the said memorandum. They must submit a letter of application to the OSHC executive director, together with the proposed on-line training process. Within five days upon receipt, the OSHC shall notify the applicant of the status of their proposal. STOs whose proposed training process have been approved will be allowed to conduct a pilot on-line training which shall be observed by a designated OSHC personnel. They will be notified within five days on the approval of their interim accreditation.

To protect the participants, the on-line trainings must be in compliance to the Data Privacy Act of 2012. It must be designed to ensure that the registered participant is the one attending the actual training; have a catch-up policy for participants who will be unable to continuously participate in the training, especially when using the real time format; and have measurement tools to assess the level of knowledge and skills gained by the participants.

The STOs must use the Basic Occupational Safety and Health (BOSH) and Construction Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) Training modules they have submitted to OSHC for accreditation and they must also incorporate Covid-19 Prevention and Control Measures as part of the on-line trainings that they will conduct. To ensure the quality of training, each batch must be limited to 50 participants only. Proofs of complete attendance to all sessions and workshop outputs must also be submitted to OSHC before they issue certificates of completion.

Real-time or blended on-line trainings must be completed within the prescribed period of  three calendar days for the 10-hour BOSH training for safety officer level 1 (SO1), 14 calendar days for the 40-hour BOSH and COSH trainings for safety officer level 2 (SO2) and Occupational health (OH) nurses, and 18 calendar days for the 56-hour training for OH physicians. On the other hand, self-directed 10-hour SO1 trainings must be completed within five calendar days.

Other applicable provisions under DOLE Department Order No. 16 series of 2001 and other DOLE-OSHC Memoranda on the conduct of OSH trainings must be complied by all STOs. Non-compliance may result in the suspension or revocation of their interim accreditation.

END/ DJ Romero