Life And Building Safety Initiative improves safety for 1 million workers

IDH’s worker safety program for the apparel sector, the Life and Building Safety (LABS) Initiative, has achieved a significant milestone by improving the safety of 1 million workers in India, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia. This Initiative was introduced four years ago and has played a crucial role in enhancing workplace safety and promoting responsible industry practices in key apparel-producing countries.

The LABS Initiative is a collaborative, industry-driven program that aims to elevate life and building safety standards in the apparel, footwear, accessories and home-textile industries. It focuses on creating safer working conditions for factory workers while also mitigating preventable safety risks such as fires, electrical hazards, and structural issues.

Pramit Chanda, the Global Director for Textiles & Manufacturing at IDH, emphasized the commitment to creating a lasting positive impact on workers’ lives and fostering a culture of safety within industries. While celebrating this achievement, IDH looks forward to expanding the reach of the LABS initiative to make an even greater impact in the future.

LABS is a comprehensive effort involving various stakeholders, including brands including Gap Inc., Target, VF Corporation, and Walmart, along with government agencies and non-profit organizations. The program assesses factories, monitors safety risks, and provides frameworks for mitigation and remediation. Since its launch in 2019, LABS has made significant progress in conducting over 465 assessments in factories and achieving a 77% remediation rate.

LABS also offers capacity-building support through training programs and technical assistance to enhance stakeholders’ knowledge and skills in life and building safety. So far, the Initiative has conducted over 849 safety training sessions.

Overall, the Life and Building Safety Initiative promotes accountability, transparency, and continuous improvement within the industry. It has made significant strides in creating safer workplaces and fostering responsible practices. IDH remains dedicated to this mission, aiming to drive transformative change in the industry as it continues to move forward with the program.

 About LABS

The Life and Building Safety (LABS) Initiative is an industry-driven program where multiple brands and retailers join forces with the public and CSOs to mitigate preventable fire, electrical, and structural buildings’ safety risks in key apparel and footwear-producing countries.

LABS participants include apparel & footwear brands and retailers and are facilitated by the LABS Secretariat, which engages with local stakeholders (e.g., industry associations, CSOs, governments, and institutes) to create better safety policies and provisions.