With ten construction projects across three countries in the midst of the pandemic, Ascenty is recognized for excellence in occupational health and safety
Latin America’s Colocation market leader expands operations while achieving superior workplace safety performance
With 27 dedicated data centers in Brazil, Chile and Mexico – 17 in operation and 10 under construction –, Ascenty, Latin America’s Colocation market leader, has been recognized for its excellence in occupational health and safety. Even during the most difficult days of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company kept its expansion plans on track to meet the increased demand for digital services, while taking all precautions necessary to ensure the safety its employees.
Carrying out 10 projects in three different countries while maintaining the quality of our services amid increased demand, in a 24/7 operation, is in itself challenging. With the risks of contamination by the new coronavirus, Ascenty had to invest heavily in the best workplace safety practices to preserve the company’s core value, which is the health of its people.
In this context, Ascenty created the Occupational Safety Department about a year ago, and put it under the leadership of José Carlos Queiroz, an executive with decades of experience in the field in companies such as IBM and Ericsson. “The first step was to reduce the number of professionals working simultaneously and readjust the deadlines for completing the projects based on social distancing mandates,” Queiroz said. “We went beyond labor law requirements and health authority recommendations. Today, we have approximately 3,500 workers on construction sites with the goal of zero accidents. Also, 98% of our employees have received at least the first dose of the Covid vaccine, and we want to push that number up to 100% by October,” he added.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ascenty has carried out weekly testing for COVID-19 to a sample of 20% of construction site worker, its 350 employees, as well as suppliers and customers who visit the construction sites. If we see an increase in the number of cases – mostly due to spread outside the workplace –, all employees, suppliers and visitors are tested immediately. We have already conducted such mass testing at construction sites in Mexico, Rio de Janeiro and Hortolândia.
Other precautions that we have taken to stop the spread of the virus include self-checking thermometers and hand sanitizer stations were installed at the entrance to construction sites and at all Ascenty facilities. Surgical masks are also available for anyone accessing the premises.
“Our first concern is with our associates and suppliers. That’s why we have adopted a 360-degree perspective on how to make the workplace environment as safe as possible, especially during the pandemic,” Queiroz said.
Another important step was to install fully equipped first aid stations at construction sites. The stations are equipped with defibrillators, stretchers, blood pressure monitors, thermometers, masks and oxygen canisters, scales and medication, and workers have a doctor and two nurses ready to assist them at all times. This ensures that employees can receive immediate assistance in case of an accident, in addition to helping to identify possible Covid symptoms at an early stage.
We are also working to conduct periodic training and distribute informational material on occupational health and safety. One example of that was a webinar we held in August, titled “The importance of the COVID-19 vaccine,” with Dr. Tufi Chalita, an infectious disease specialist, to answer general questions about high-risk behaviors for COVID-19 infection. Circular letters, posters, videos accessible by QR Codes and brochures with health and safety information complement the minimum risk environment for employees.
Currently, the company plans to achieve ISO 45001 (International Standard for Occupational Health and Safety) certification by December. In addition to having all its facilities rated Tier III – representing the data centers with the highest uptime in the market –, Ascenty has earned more than 100 certifications for its standards of excellence in environmental management, corporate social responsibility, and occupational health and safety.
Ascenty, a Digital Realty and Brookfield company, is the largest connectivity and data center service provider in Latin America, currently managing 27 data centers in operation and/or construction in Brazil, Chile and Mexico, interconnected by 5,000 km of proprietary fiber-optic network. The company was established in 2010 and builds and operates world-class data centers serving the world’s largest cloud and technology providers, as well as other customers in the finance, retail, industrial, healthcare and service industries. To support its expansion, Ascenty relies on its shareholders – Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, a Canadian asset management company, and Digital Realty, the world’s largest data center company, with 290 units located in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia. To learn more about Ascenty, go tohttp://www.ascenty.com
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