Chilean unions monitor OHS standards amidst pandemic

13 May 2020 08:22


The Confederation of Forest Workers (CTF) of Chile, the Federation of MASISA Workers (FETRAMAS) and the National Federation of Industrial Trade Unions of ARAUCO (FENASID) said that they were able to secure the workers’ safe transportation, reduce common spaces, improve occupational hygiene measures and ensure the non-reduction of wages, even for those who were given teleworking options, during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The BWI affiliates said that they also closely monitored the implementation of occupational health and safety (OSH) protocols at work and ensured better biosecurity measures, especially with the forest industry’s continuing operations. 

Throughout Chile, production plants, forest plantations and established facilities are operating on a limited basis, with planning and administration functions placed under teleworking arrangements. Since the beginning of May, the industry has started the process of progressive reactivation.

However, despite the health and safety measures promoted by the unions, an industry worker tested positive for COVID-19 in Mapa. The worker has already received medical attention, been quarantined and is under observation. Company and community follow-up-measures were taken to assess possible infections through contact tracing.  

As of 13 May, Chile has 31,721 COVID-19 cases and 335 dead.