LONDON (Alliance News) – Equatorial Palm Oil PLC said Friday it has taken a number of actions to address human rights issues at the company’s Liberian operations.
The palm oil development and production company launched a human rights impact assessment process at its Liberian operations last November as an initial step in its work to implement the United Nations Guiding Principles on business and human rights.
As part of its action plan, the company said it established new criteria, based on productivity, to evaluate when a contract worker can be converted to an employee and reduce the company’s dependency on contract workers.
“For those who remain contract workers, efforts have been made to ensure that they are appropriately paid for the work provided,” the company added.
With regards to accidents happening on the company’s estates due to holes in the terrain, the company said it has “strengthened” its procedures, including levelling the path where workers walk.
“The company has strengthened how patients injured on site and treated in clinics are recorded and monitored, and how that information is passed on to the company,” Equatorial Palm Oil said.
The company said it also has “strengthen its procedures” to ensure employees are aware of the protective equipment o be worn when working with chemical usage in an effort to prevent accidents.
With regards to transportation accidents, Equatorial is finalising a new transportation policy “which seeks to prevent accidents through a range of measures”, it said.
In terms of living conditions for its workers, Equatorial said it is currently discussing plans to provide additional “electrified housing” with the relevant trade union to its employees, and has approved a new generator.
“Housing allowances continue to be provided for non-electrified and shared housing,” the company added.
Finally, the company introduced a new checklist to ensure workers are not bringing their children to the fields, while pregnant women have now been assigned “light duty work around the office and camps”.