Masked workers at AquaChile's Magallanes processing plant with their Covid Seal. Photo: AquaChile.

AquaChile processing plants all classed 'Covid-safe'

All seven processing plants operated by Chile’s biggest salmon farmer, AquaChile, have been certified as having Covid-safe working conditions.

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Certification of the company’s Quellón, Cailín, Chonchi, Ancud and Magallanes plants completed a process that began with facilities in Cardonal and Calbuco.

The Chilean Safety Association, a private non-profit organisation that develops risk prevention programs, issued the seals of approval.

Best practices

AquaChile said it had implemented measures and best practices to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in its plants. These include the standardisation of Covid-19 actions and measures through the plants, and initiatives such as a Covid passport for preventative detection of symptoms.

The company has also changed the way workers clock in for a shift, moving from a biometric system with a fingerprint to a facial recognition system, in addition to training, reinforcement and work carried out with staff to adopt appropriate measures.

‘Months of work’

“This is the result of months of work by the AquaChile team in all its lines for the sole purpose of protecting its workers and preventing the contagion of Covid-19, maintaining its operations with high compliance standards and being pioneers in the field,” said Fernando Aliaga of the Chilean Security Association.

“The Covid Seal delivered represents the field verification that shows compliance with 100% of the measures to prevent contagion.”

Sebastian Trujillo, AquaChile’s people manager, said: “It is very important for us to have the recognition of the Chilean Security Association because it gives an account of the work we have been doing for the health and safety of our employees.”

The Covid Seals come at a time when some residents and politicians in Chiloé have called for processing plants to be temporarily halted. They blame the plants for an increasing number of Covid-19 cases on the island province, something that has been denied by operators.