Search Report
2015 Sustainability Report
published 2016/07/13

Health and safety at our producers

Safe and healthy working conditions are very import for VAUDE – not only at its company headquarters in Tettnang, but also at all producers with whom we work together worldwide. Therefore VAUDE supports its production facilities in implementing health and safety policies.

What VAUDE requires from its production partners:

Our producers must provide their workers with safe and hygienic workplaces. Moreover, they are obliged to seek the best solutions in the field of occupational safety and occupational health, taking into account the current level of knowledge of the industry with respect to specific risks. Within the scope of occupational safety, we require that management focuses on the prevention of occupational accidents and minimizing health risks for employees. Occupational safety includes: building safety, fire safety, electrical safety, chemical safety, machine safety, social services, ergonomics, first aid measures and emergency medical care.

These factors are reviewed regularly by the local VAUDE CSR employees in the producing countries, as well as by the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF). If there are complaints, we discuss them immediately with our suppliers to jointly develop solutions. We support the implementation of these improvements and we monitor them together with the FWF until the respective complaint has been resolved.

Findings and Improvements

There were findings regarding health and safety in all production facilities that were audited in 2015. There were 67 cases in total.

These primarily involved the following issues:

  • Work-related accidents were not analyzed and/or no remedial measures were initiated to avoid them in the future.
  • There were no regular health and safety trainings for all employees.
  • Emergency lighting and signage on emergency exits was either lacking or insufficient.
  • Personal Protective Equipment was not provided to the workers and/or workers did not wear it.
  • Chemical safety was insufficient.
  • The fire alarm system and fire extinguishers were not checked regularly.
  • A fire drill / evacuation drill was not conducted.
  • Ergonomics at the work places was insufficient.
  • First aid equipment was incomplete.

In general, the necessary measures can be implemented quickly and the findings resolved. The challenge, however, is to systematically and sustainably implement the measures taken. This is very important to us, as this is the only way we can achieve true improvements. We therefore support our producers continuously in this process.

VAUDE supports implementation

In the field of health and safety most finding occur at our producers. This is partly because the management lacks an awareness and knowledge of occupational health and safety. Moreover, in the producing countries, although strict laws and occupational safety regulations do exist, there is no institution that monitors companies in this regard (and when needed, penalizes them) such as the Employer’s Liability Insurance Association here in Germany.

For this reason, we make sure that our own CSR employees in Asia are fully trained regarding occupational health and safety and know the relevant laws of the respective countries. They can advise and support our producers in health and safety implementation. In regular on-site visits, they follow up the Corrective Action Plan complaints are tracked and measures are discussed to remedy the situation. In addition, our CSR employees regularly conduct occupational health and safety inspections at the production facilities. These are then discussed and evaluated.

For health and safety issues, it is generally important that findings are not only remedied, but that in addition, a management system is established for occupational health and safety. We found room for improvement on this issue at some of our producers. For this reason, VAUDE has financed an occupational health and safety training for some selected producers at some selected producers in Vietnam for a multi-day occupational safety training at “Better Work Vietnam”. Our CSR employees in Vietnam also participated in the training and the feedback has been very positive from all sides.

GRI:   G4-LA5
Percentage of total workforce represented in formal joint management-worker health and safety comm
GRI:   G4-DMA Occupational Health and Safety
Disclosure on Management Approach Occupational Health and Safety
GRI:   G4-Occupational Health and Safety
Occupational Health and Safety
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