Reports indicate that:
There is legislation in Chine to ensure safety at the workplace. However, it was explained that in China anything can happen as the focus in the timber industry is on cheap and fast production. In the category of occupational safety and health risks have been identified: high levels of dust that may lead to a lack of oxygen, lack of hygiene in bathrooms, risks of fatal and non-fatal accidents, mental health problems of workers (dark workplaces, unfavourable working conditions), exposure of workers to hazardous chemicals and substances (self-mixed glue) and lack of awareness of such chemicals, unsafe construction of the building (holes in the floor, fragile roof support), malfunctioning or unsafe machinery (including removal of safety caps), major risk of a lack of PPEs, lack of fire safety and emergency preparedness and response, in-factory traffic accidents and hearing damage.
Additional reported observations:
• In China, factories provide workers with meals. The quality and quantity of the food is unknown.
• It is very common in China that there is accommodation/ barracks for employees, especially for those workers who operate the machines.
• Although respiratory problems of workers were not observed during the factory visits, it was indicated that it would be likely for some staff to develop them with time, for example workers handling chemicals.
Region Guanxi Zhuang
Workers engaged in low intensity operation as well as FMEs employing them have little awareness of wearing the necessary devices, such as glove, helmet, special trousers and boots for safety consideration. Some FMUs even have no safety rules in place and they don’t prepare and provide the safety devices for their worker’s labor. Most workers, especially older or skilled ones, are often reluctant to use the safety equipment. Meanwhile, the training concerning safety is insufficient. According to the on-site interviews and expert interviews, FMUs, especially the small and medium ones, pay little attention to the safety training. Few of them developed the training procedure and little training have been provided to workers, who are also oblivious of training
Forest management companies in Guangxi often outsource harvesting operation. There’s are increasing number of foreign workers working in forest management farms, although it is difficult to acquire the exact percentage or number. Many foreign workers are Vietnamese illegal immigrants. Though there are contracts between these companies and contractors, there is no contract between contractors and labors, let alone insurance. Further, a significant number of small and medium companies fail to sign labor contracts and pay social security. In private forest management enterprises, it is common that forestry workers commonly work overtime, cannot take legally required leave and payments for overtime working are slow to be received. Furthermore, the delayed payment of social insurance often occurs in forest farms in Guangxi. The overworking is common in the forest sector. 90% of forestry technician or workers cannot be approved for a paid annual leave, which does not comply with labor law.
Some state-owned forest farms and private forest management enterprises, especially the small and medium ones have problems in health and safety. Workers engaged in low intensity operation and FMUs employing them have little awareness of wearing the necessary devices, such glove, helmet, special trousers and boots for safety consideration. Some FMUs have no safety rules in place and they don’t prepare and provide the safety devices for their workers. A small number of FMUs developed the safety rules which require the wearing the safety devices, most workers, especially older or skilled ones, are often reluctant to use the safety equipment.
FMUs, especially the small and medium ones, pay little attention to the safety training on safety. Few of them developed the training procedure and little training has been provided to workers, who are also oblivious of training. Although state-owned forest farms provide training, the training system is imperfect. The collective-owned forest farms and processors have employed a number of migrant workers. Generally, the enterprises signed labour contracts with them and pay social security, but there are still a number of enterprises that fail to sign contracts or pay social security in order to save costs. Some small-scale forest management enterprises usually hired their relatives or neighbors without labor contract and accidental insurance
Some large-scale private forest management companies often outsourced harvesting operation to harvesting groups that usually hire temporary labors. The company would not compulsively demand that the labor contractor between the group and temporary labors shall be signed or the social security for labors must be paid correspondingly. Additionally, many stated-owned forest farms in Shandong also sell standing trees, which are cut by buyers. There is no compulsive demand from the farms for labor contract or social security insurance provided by buyers to their hired workers