Peru: Weight reduction of cement bags gets consensus of gov't and employers

The 25 kilos No More! campaign led by the Federation of Civil Construction Workers of Peru (FTCCP) and the Federation of Cement and Premixed Workers of Peru (FETRACEPPE), and which aims to reduce the weight of cement bags produced and carried by workers to ensure their health and safety, got the consensus of employers in the construction and cement industries in Peru and various national health and safety professionals. 


During the I Forum on Safety and Health at Work "25Kg, no more!" held last 18 February, the Minister of Labor and Employment Promotion (MTPE), Dr. Betssy Chavez reported that she met with her peer from the Ministry of Production to create a multi-sectoral group to enforce a Ministerial Resolution on to the new weight of cement bags in Peru.


The Association of Cement Producers (ASOCEM) discussed the necessary changes and arrangements to meet the weight goal for cement bags which ensures the health and safety of workers who manually handle them at workplaces. 


FTCCP Secretary General Luis Villanueva Carbajal presented the progress of the campaign, in partnership with BWI and the International Labor Organisation (ILO), and the numerous activities since 2018, which dovetailed in the sports infrastructure projects for the 2019 Lima Pan American Games. 


“The declared consensus in this forum indicates that Peru will be the next country in Latin America and the Caribbean to reduce the weight of the manual handling of cement bags weight from 42.5 to 25 kilos. With this, the health of Peru’s cement and construction workers will be more protected. I congratulate all of you!” BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson said.


“We are very happy to be informed of these advances that improve health protection measures for construction and cement workers,” said Gianni Nick de Vlaminck, FGBT-Belgium Representative and a member of the BWI World Council.


In 2011, Uruguay became the first country in the region to implement the new weight maximum for cement bags. Since then, several other countries have taken steps to mimic Uruguay’s initiative. 

 

In 2017, Chile approved the maximum weight of 25 kilos for men and 20 kilos for women. In 2018, an agreement between cement companies and the Brazilian Labor Prosecutor's Office approved the reduction of cement bag weight from 50 kilos to 25 kilos within a maximum period of 10 years. 


The Argentine government also issued a resolution in 2018 that establishes a maximum weight of 25 kilos for cement bags marketed in the country and a term of four years for its implementation.