The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and Fairware have jointly published both a factory checklist and discussion paper in an effort to ensure worker health and safety at all times, even under COVID-19 threat.
The ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative) described that the area of occupational health and safety is complex and the situation around Covid-19 has added significantly to this complexity.
The guidance material provides practical advice on how to address health and safety issues with factories, as well as background and inspiration for additional measures. While the regulations imposed by local health authorities and governments always will constitute the minimum requirements, they aim to support brands with the complete array of health and safety measures a garment factory could consider, stressing the importance of strong social dialogue, local stakeholder involvement, and effective grievance as an integrated part of this process.
Central to all this are the garment workers, rightfully worried about their livelihood and personal safety, and required to return to the factories as production starts up again. Keeping workers in the garment industry safe is a major concern and must be top priority.
For brands there is a clear expectation to follow up closely with their suppliers, support them on health and safety and ensure sufficient measures are implemented to protect them. To assist brands in the dialogue with their suppliers, Fair Wear and ETI have developed this check list accompanied by a comprehensive discussion sheet.