Potable water and electrolyte solutions must be available at rest sites and delivered directly to the workers if needed. All field workers and field support staff need rapid and easy access to sufficient potable water, including, 1) Personal water receptacles; 2) Access to shaded water coolers for refilling with cool water; 3) Reserve tanks carried on worker transport; and 4) Water quality needs assessment with minimum chlorination. Workers need to consume 1 liter/hour of water and 250 ml of electrolyte solution/hour
Rest breaks should be mandated for all field personnel rather than only ad hoc. Hydration operators, health promoters and supervisors should also have planned rest. Provide seated rest with sufficient space to cover all workers resting.
Portable shaded areas need to be near workers for shaded rest and to keep water supplies cool. Tents need to be moved for quick and easy access (≤ 50-75 meters). Tents much be sufficiently large to protect the number of workers under them, with alternating breaks if necessary. For example, the square meters of the roof of the tent should be equal to 1.25 meters square per worker. For instance, the tents at ISA are 16m2 for 20 workers (16×1.25=20). The roof of the tent should be 18” higher than the average height of the male population in country. Shaded refill stations should be set up throughout the work area and moved to keep close to the workers.
Logistics and Compliance
Implementation and management make all the difference. Great protocols for worker protection mean little if there is not proper monitoring and evaluation throughout the harvest to ensure guidelines are followed. A culture of transparency needs to exist, where anyone from a field worker to a manager can bring up concerns about implementation of interventions and report any problems as they arise.
The basic rest schedules for field workers must comply with the schedules laid out in the recommendation document and implementation guide available below, especially for burned cane and seed cutters. With time, heat conditions will be predicted more accurately on a daily basis and monitored more closely over the day with immediate responses prescribed (e.g., interruption of work, increased rest periods, more electrolyte solution).
The work/rest schedules evaluated during Phase 1 and those reported by other leading mills are insufficient
ISA’s 2017-2018 field practices and those published by Pantaleon are insufficient to protect workers. Further adherence to U.S. military and OSHA guidelines is essential. Evaluation of what is effective and whether protection is even possible in line with production expectations must be evaluated in Phase 2. Corrective actions have been taken at ISA and improved practices are being evaluated currently for Phase 2.