Life and Building Safety (LABS) Initiative Expands to Indonesia

The Life and Building Safety (LABS) Initiative announced the launch of its operations in Indonesia today. The Initiative aims to promote safer working conditions for factory workers by mitigating preventable fire, electrical, and structural building safety risks in key production countries in the apparel, footwear, accessories, and home textile sectors in a targeted way.

As a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder effort that brings together brands, industry stakeholders, government agencies, and non-profit organizations, LABS promotes sector-wide transformation to promote safe practices and create safer work environments. Currently, brands including Gap Inc., Target, VF Corporation, and Walmart are participating in the LABS program.

LABS facilitates the assessment of factories and provides a framework for monitoring, mitigating, and remediating the safety risks identified. Since the program’s launch in 2019, LABS has made significant progress in reaching out to over 837,000 workers and conducting over 400 assessments in factories. LABS has engaged with the factories to remediate issues that were identified during assessments and achieved a 77% remediation rate.

In addition to assessments and remediation efforts, LABS provides capacity-building support to stakeholders through training programs and technical assistance to enhance their knowledge and skills in life and building safety. So far, the Initiative has conducted over 650 safety trainings.

LABS is currently operational in India, Vietnam, and Cambodia, and the expansion into Indonesia is a strategic move that aligns with the program’s ambition to mitigate safety risks in key apparel production countries in the sector.

“At LABS, we are committed to improving worker safety and will build on our learnings and engagements to build partnerships in Indonesia,” said Pramit Chanda, Global Director for Textiles & Manufacturing at IDH. “We thank all our stakeholders including brands, factory owners, government, safety and training firms, civil society organizations, and workers, who have strengthened the program and supported it’s roll out. We look forward to collaborating with partners in Indonesia to drive meaningful change and ensure that worker safety remains top priority in the sector in the country”.

Speaking about the program launch in the country, Mr. Ir. Kimron Manik, Director of Construction Sustainability, Directorate General of Construction, Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing of the Republic of Indonesia said, “With the launch of the LABS Initiative in Indonesia, we hope that we can collaborate and develop standard procedures to help provide safer working conditions for the workers that is also aligned to laws and regulations in the country.”

Mr. Lukman Hakim, Deputy Assistant of Policy Support for Government and National Values of the Vice President’s Office, Republic of Indonesia added: “We are glad that LABS has initiated the platform for safety in taking care of human resources and physical resources which present an opportunity to make improvements in all fields. In this regard, we look forward to LABS Initiative helping stakeholders in Indonesia in a collaborative manner and addressing issues together in a steadfast way, for providing a safe and healthy environment to workers in all sectors.”

The LABS Standards and Methodology are based on international best practices and codes, including, but not limited to, the International Building Code and National Building Code of India, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia. In addition to applicable country laws, factories commit to adhering to a harmonized, country-level standard regarding structural, fire, and electrical safety under LABS. IDH supports the overall facilitation of LABS as well as the development of the operational setup.

The Initiative will operate in all major production hubs of Indonesia and is expected to benefit approximately 2,75,000 workers.