The Life and Building Safety (LABS) Initiative is expanding into Cambodia. In consultation with Archetype, LABS initiated work to modify the LABS Standard and Methodology (the “Standard”) for Cambodia by considering the local legal requirements against which the apparel, footwear, and accessories factories will be measured on structural, fire, and electrical safety parameters.
On January 12, 2022, LABS organized a consulting workshop with the assistance of EuroCham Cambodia to discuss the first draft of the Standard with industry stakeholder groups including, but not limited to, government, apparel and footwear factories, trade associations, civil society organizations (CSOs), and brand partners.
The draft Standard was presented to the participants during the workshop; afterwards, panel discussions and group sessions were conducted to deliberate on the opportunities to provide a safer work environment. Input received will be incorporated into the final version of the LABS Standard and Methodology for Cambodia, which will be adhered during the pilot phase of the program.
LABS’ aim is to set a benchmark safety standard against which apparel and footwear factories are assessed. The LABS assessment is not a code-compliance check; however, it defines a required level of safety based on best practices internationally by considering the local context. All technical standards consist of an interrelated set of measures which should provide an acceptable level of safety in a building.
Currently, the program is operational in India and Vietnam, where 265 factories were onboarded as of December 2021. Through its associated firms, LABS has conducted 251 safety assessments and delivered 254 safety trainings in apparel and footwear factories in India. Additionally, LABS commenced identifying and onboarding associated firms to operationalize the program in Cambodia.