CEMENT BAGS SHOULD WEIGH 25 KILOS MAXIMUM, NO MORE!
Workers demand that the weight of cement bags be reduced to avoid illnesses caused by excessive weight.
The Peruvian TU Federation of Civil Construction Workers (FTCCP) is advancing its campaign for the reduction of the cement bag weight to “25 kilos, no more!”, and thus avoid muscle-skeletal diseases due to excessive weight load.
“Workers get injured by the 42.5 kilo cement bags. Subsequently, the building industry does not hire them because these diseases prevent them from passing the medical exams,” said Luis Villanueva, secretary general of the FTCCP.
Villanueva Carbajal recalled that, in Peru, the Regulation on Safety and Health at Work in the Building branch, which was approved by the Ministry of Labour through Supreme Decree 011-2019-TR, warns, in article 15, paragraph n, that the worker’s obligation is “Not to lift loads that exceed the maximum weights established in R.M. N° 375-2008-TR, which is a ‘Basic ergonomics and dysergonomic risk assessment procedure standard'”.
“This standard rule establishes a maximum of 25 kilos for men and 15 kilos for women, to reduce the risk of muscle-skeletal diseases by up to 85%,” he said.
He also stressed that article 14 of this Standard rules that if an unsafe condition is seen on a construction site, the worker must opt for a work stoppage. “An excessive weight load is indeed an unsafe condition,” he emphasized.
The union leader warned that workers, by carrying excessive weights, suffer back pain, muscle ruptures, scoliosis, herniated discs, among other illnesses. All this, plus the lungs deterioration due to the presence of silica in the cement, worsens the quality of life of the worker over time.
“Cement companies must comply with the Ministry of Labour’s regulations to prevent muscle-skeletal diseases in civil construction,” he concluded.
As part of this campaign, workers from various regions of the country went to iron hardware centres, ironmonger stores and construction sites; where they recorded videos favouring the campaign, which were disseminated on social networks by the workers themselves, as well as by local and national media.
FTCCP is also holding a forum on 4 March 2021, starting at 8.50 a.m. (Peruvian time) a virtual forum on “Reducing the weight of cement bags to 25 kilos”. Trade union and government representatives will participate in this event which will be broadcasted live from the following link: fb.com/FTCCP, the institutional Facebook page of the Federation of Workers in Civil Construction of Peru.
Lima, 2 March 2021