Reports indicate that:
In the category occupational safety and health, the seven risks identified are high levels of dust (insufficient inspections by government agency), exposure of workers to hazardous substances and chemicals (e.g. glue), fatal and non-fatal accidents of workers, unsafe construction of the building of sawmills (fragile roof, holes in walls, old power cables – instead, investment goes to machinery), partial use of PPEs (related to tropical conditions and associated risks of accidents due to heavy transpiration), hearing damage and lack of fire safety (worker behaviour, poorly maintained power cable). It was added by an source, that poor governance is often an underlying factor for the risks in timber production.
Unregulated (illegal) alien workers has been widely reported (particularly from Myanmar). Small-scale operators seek to contract (and arrange for) the short-term employment of migrant workers and this has been encountered frequently in the timber sector. Of the 3 million migrant workers, reports indicate that up to 50% may be illegal and unregulated or inaccurately reported. Problems are significant, particularly in those provinces that share a common border with Myanmar.
Membership of Unions is actively or effectively discouraged within large commercial companies and the capacity of workers to raise complaints, bargain collectively and negotiate effectively with employers is limited. Union membership is stated but frequently confused with the membership of a company run scheme.
Thailand has ratified 17 ILO Conventions, including 5 out of 8 fundamental conventions (a 6th one, C111, will be in force in 2018).
What is of significance from the point of view of workers is that despite Thai trade Unions long-standing demand and public commitments of the Government, the ratification of C 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention) and C 98 (Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention) is yet to happen.
There are national and international sources that state that social rights are not covered by the relevant legislation.