“A safe and hygienic working environment shall be provided, and best occupational health and safety practice shall be promoted, bearing in mind the prevailing knowledge of the industry and of any specific hazards. Appropriate attention shall be paid to occupational hazards specific to this branch of the industry and assure that a safe and hygienic work environment is provided for. Effective regulations shall be implemented to prevent accidents and minimize health risks as much as possible (following ILO Convention 155). Physical abuse, threats of physical abuse, unusual punishments or discipline, sexual and other harassment, and intimidation by the employer is strictly prohibited.”
According to the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector, workplace health and safety is an industry risk. Through Fair Wear's audits, we have also identified that workplace safety continues to be the area with the most concerns. These concerns are reflected in the risks we have identified for our supply chain. Below we list the identified risks:
We conduct regular audits and organize regular training sessions to minimize the likelihood of negative impacts occurring. In addition, we visit production facilities as part of the follow-up of corrective action plans. In addition, our CSR team conducts annual basic health and safety checks at the production facilities.
All the listed risks are potential risks that we have identified in our production countries and that have an increased likelihood of occurrence. (See also Risk Overview).
An obligation in and of itself is not enough, of course. Therefore, all of our producers are regularly and independently audited by organizations such as Fair Wear and our own CSR Team. Auditors carefully examine all issues relating to occupational safety and health. The results of these audits are verified by document assessments as well as interviews outside and within the production facility.
Reviews of Fair Wear audits show that the majority of audit findings continue to relate to the issue of occupational safety. This is sometimes due to the fact that the management and workers lack an awareness and knowledge of occupational health and safety. Moreover, in the producing countries, although strict laws and occupational safety regulations do exist, there are no institutions that monitor companies in this regard (and when needed, penalizes them) such as the Employer’s Liability Insurance Association here in Germany.
The health of the workers who make our products is very important to us. Therefore, we work intensively with our producers to improve working conditions.
The pandemic created serious health risks for our producers and their employees. Therefore, our local teams were in close contact with our producers to find out how we as VAUDE could support them. For example, the teams provided training for our producers on the issue of prevention measures for their employees.