(San Juan, P. R.)-The Puerto Rico Department of Housing (PRDOH), offered a series of workshops for all contractors and subcontractors working on the Repair, Reconstruction, or Relocation (R3) Program, in which they discussed the program’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Policy.

The OHS Policy sets requirements and protocols for preventing accidents in construction project areas under the R3 program, which is financed by the Community Development Block Grant- Disaster Recovery Program (CDBG-DR).

The OHS policy also describes protocols for the investigation, reporting, and correction of unsafe working conditions observed during inspections, in addition to the actions to be taken in response to accidents and emergencies when they occur.

“All personnel working on the R3 Program are part of a valuable stock of resources and their lives are to be prioritized above all else. That is why we hold these workshops, so that everyone, from managers to construction workers, are informed of all safety measures and how they can make their workspace a safe and sanitary place,” said PRDOH Secretary Luis Fernández-Trinchet.

In turn, the deputy secretary of the CDBG-DR Program, Dennis González, assured that “we are happy to see how the program is starting to bring benefits for Puerto Rico’s residents, and we continue to work so that we can keep procuring the aid that our Island needs in order to continue its recovery and development.”

As part of the workshops, orientation was provided regarding the responsibilities for each of the positions, which include the OHS area coordinator, the official safety program manager, the general contractor, and construction workers.

As of today, and as it is shown on the of Occupational Health and Safety orientations table, a total of 1,262 employees have undergone orientation. Next week, orientations will be coordinated with Rebuilders, Yates-Bird, FR-BLDM, and DSW.

Furthermore, the importance of frequent safety orientation and training, necessary documentation requirements in the workplace, reporting, corrective action, and penalties were highlighted.

The purpose of personal protective equipment for the eyes, face, head, ears, feet, and respiratory system was also discussed; and measures for working safety when using ladders, scaffolding, and elevated platforms, as well as fall protection measures, were explained.

The R3 Program assists in the repair or rebuilding of individual family housing units that were damaged due to hurricanes Irma and Maria. Homeowners whose houses have sustained significant damage and which are located in hazardous areas – flood and landslide zones – are offered assistance for relocating to a safe home.

People who may apply for the program include those whose properties sustained significant damage (including blue roofs); people over the age of 65; people with disabilities, and people with low or moderate incomes.

For more information, applicants may visit cdbg-dr.pr.gov/r3/