an inspection confirms the “unfortunate” working conditions in a landfill in Tenerife

The Labor Inspection has agreed with the complaints made by representatives of the staff of Ecatar Canarias SLU, a company of the Ataretaco foundation, echoed by United We Can (Izquierda Unida-Podemos-Equo) before the City Council of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Sí Podemos Canarias in the Cabildo, upon verifying breaches in occupational health and safety in the activities that this commercial entity carries out in the Arico environmental complex recycling center.

In a statement sent by United We Can, it is noted that in one of the waste separation plants of the island landfill, the workers, part of whom were hired thanks to an agreement of the Chicharrero City Council for their labor insertion derived by social services municipal authorities, carry out their work separating waste “in unfortunate working conditions, before which the Labor Inspection has required them to correct their breaches without prejudice to initiating sanctioning action”.

The councilor of UP Dolores Espinosa stresses that “this is clear from an official letter-report prepared by a Labor inspector, dated this month of March, after the visits made last year to this workplace, after it was denounced by a representative Intersindical Canaria, the majority union in this area”.

Espinosa maintains that what happened with this company is “intolerable, since they are people who are hired thanks to public money subsidies because they suffer from situations of socioeconomic vulnerability, and, although they are offered this job opportunity, they are assigned a very unpleasant job, in contact with waste that can cause illness, without the minimum safety and hygiene conditions”.

Added to this, according to the councilor, is the fact that “these are temporary contracts, which are renewed year after year, which makes it difficult for workers to dare to denounce this situation, for fear of not being hired. again”, for which the mayor appreciates the work of those who have formalized the complaint and the support of Intersindical.

Likewise, Espinosa repairs the fact that the Cabildo de Tenerife, responsible for the management of the landfill, has not yet given explanations to the complaints of the Ecatar staff for having been in contact with sanitary waste from the hospital, blood bags included, that in no case should they have arrived at this plant in Arico mixed with other urban waste.

Specifically, the Labor Inspection report, a service belonging to the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy, requires the company to correct the following breaches: that workers be guaranteed time within the working day, ten minutes for cleaning staff before lunch and another ten minutes before leaving work. Provide lockers with separation of clean and dirty clothes.

The company must guarantee the washing, decontamination and, if necessary, destruction of work clothes and protective equipment, and it is strictly forbidden for workers to take them home for this purpose.

On the gloves used, it must be guaranteed that in the tasks of the workers they are anti-cut. As well as providing FFP3 self-filtering masks in the positions indicated in the risk assessment provided, as well as full-rimmed glasses for protection against dust, liquids, gases and vapors for positions indicated in the evaluation.

In relation to the plant’s extractors, their operation and maintenance must be guaranteed (containment measure against biological risks). A specific assessment of psychosocial risks must also be carried out.

Compliance with protocols against COVID-19 in the event of positive cases and compliance with the necessary hygienic measures (gels, masks) and distance. And guarantee the right to information to prevention delegates in relation to information on workplace accidents.

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