Many workers in key apparel producing countries work in unsafe environments which can have lethal consequences. This is why it’s the mission of the Life and Building Safety program (LABS) to provide safer working conditions for factory workers in the apparel and footwear industry.
We organize our activities around identifying and solving risks related to fire and electrical hazards, structural building safety, and evacuation, so workers can lead better lives.
This is done by developing country-specific solutions. Here, we create a life-safety program that delivers a harmonized framework for monitoring, assessment, risk reduction, and remediation.
The Life and Building Safety (LABS) Initiative is an industry-driven program, in which multiple brands and retailers are joining forces with public and civil society organizations to operate a scalable program to eliminate preventable fire, electrical and structural safety risks in key apparel and footwear producing countries in a targeted way.
We are currently working in India and Vietnam, and in the future will expand to Pakistan and Cambodia. This expansion is a part of our goal to create solutions to workplace safety in the apparel and footwear industry that have a global reach.
LABS Initiative is not focusing on Bangladesh. After 2013’s Rana Plaza collapse, a broad group of organizations and Brand and Retailers have already established mechanisms to address worker safety issues in Bangladesh. LABS Initiative will build on the learnings and experiences from these processes and collaborate to initiate work on Life and Building Safety in those in-need countries, which are receiving less attention.
Any solution to worker safety needs to value transparency, a harmonized standard framework, and commitment at national and local levels. Since carrying out these values in an effective, scalable manner is difficult, we’ve created a three-phase plan to guide our efforts.