Environmental certification systems and impacts of their implementation on occupational health and safety in Chilean forest companies
Environmental management systems developed by Chilean forest companies in fast-grown plantations and implemented for ISO 14001:1996 certification, best forest management practices certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and occupational health and safety (OHSAS 18001:1999), have been analysed to evaluate their effects on profitability due to the decrease in work accidents. The study was a statistical analysis of data on accident rate, risk rate, and average time lost per accident for up to 25 companies over 7 years. A second phase of the study was extended to 10 years with the same companies and dependent variables. Analysis of variance was used to compare the incidence of occupational accidents before and after the environmental systems, best forest management practices, or occupational health and safety were implemented. Results varied between companies, according to the specific dependent variables analysed. Nevertheless, after the environmental systems or best forest management practices were implemented most companies showed there were improvements in accident rate, risk rate, and average time lost per accident. For most companies implementation of ISO 14001 and Forest Stewardship Council requirements helped to increase competitiveness by improving safety indicators in a statistically significant way.