UPM intensifies prevention measures for the restart of construction work

Press Release 8.4.2020 10:00 EEST

(UPM, Paso de los Toros, 8 April 2020) – The Uruguayan construction sector with its 45,000 workers is scheduled to restart works after the Easter holidays on Monday 13 April. In the face of the national health emergency caused by COVID-19, UPM is reinforcing its health guidelines and protocols relating to resumed construction works at its new pulp mill project and to guarantee a safe work environment for surrounding communities.

The project currently employs 947 people at the construction sites in Paso de los Toros, Pueblo Centenario and Durazno city. Altogether 477 of the workers are local residents from the region, including 376 from Paso de los Toros. The rest come from different parts of Uruguay. There are also 70 workers from outside of Uruguay who have been in the country since before the start of the health emergency.

UPM’s reinforced protocols concern:
- Prevention of COVID-19 spread among workers at construction sites
- Protection of the health of workers
- Mechanisms promoting social distancing from nearby communities
- Adequate response to suspected or positive COVID-19 cases at the UPM construction sites

UPM is implementing measures at all construction sites and urging contractor companies to strictly follow them along with national regulations. UPM has presented its measures to the Paso de los Toros Emergency Committee and included recommendations from local authorities.

Prevention on construction sites

UPM maintains close cooperation with its contractor companies to carry out an action plan that includes prevention, control and action protocols at all its construction sites. The health status of all workers will be monitored before their arrival at the workplace as well as during the working day in order to immediately detect possible symptoms.

Controls on access to construction sites will be intensified with new access points and more work shifts to reduce concentration of workers at any one time.

The existing measures for social distancing will be further strengthened to reduce contact between individuals covering work activities, lunch service, transportation and accommodation. In addition UPM recommends avoiding social activities also outside working hours.

Procedures on diagnosed or suspected COVID-19 cases

UPM will activate a special protocol for the cases when a worker is suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19. Following the guidelines of the Uruguayan health authorities, workers with symptoms shall remain at home and consult their health care institution.

For workers who temporarily live outside their home town or city UPM will provide an emergency medical service. This way all remote workers will be able to obtain a diagnosis and instructions on how to proceed with potential symptoms quickly without a visit to health centres in the local town. Furthermore, UPM will provide housing areas for contractor companies in Paso de los Toros if needed for temporary 24-hour isolation.

The return to work after a diagnosis with COVID-19 will only be allowed upon presentation of medical discharge. Workers who were in contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 and could eventually become infected will go into quarantine. After a quarantine a medical discharge is requested prior to return to the workplace.

For further information please contact:
bcw | burson cohn & wolfe (+598) 27100757