IOSH News

IOSH welcomes new OECD due diligence guidance for the garment and footwear sector

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is an international NGO that supports and advocates higher standards of health and safety in supply chains. It is also the only Chartered body for health and safety professionals, encouraging individuals and organisations to act responsibly to protect employees, customers and suppliers.

IOSH says the new OECD guidance can help support better health and safety in supply chains
IOSH says the new OECD guidance can help support better health and safety in supply chains

IOSH welcomes today’s launch of the new OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector and its application to firms operating in (or sourcing from) the 46 adhering countries.

Since the tragic Rana Plaza disaster in 2013 in which over 1,100 lives were lost, IOSH has worked with Fashion Revolution and UK Parliamentarians to help raise awareness of the importance of corporate transparency and improved health and safety in global supply chains.

IOSH was also pleased to fund a project aimed at improving fire-safety culture in garment factories in Asia through a Workplace Fire Safety Facilitator Training Programme developed and rolled out in countries including India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

More recently, we have been engaged in supporting better supply chain management and ‘grass roots’ training by co-funding the OHS Initiative for Workers and Communities in Bangladesh.

Richard Jones, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, said: “We welcome the new guidelines’ focus on taking a risk-based approach across supply chains and the need to align brand purchasing policies and brand ethical sourcing.

“Among other preventive actions needed, companies should assess and mitigate how their purchasing, price-setting and ordering practices could contribute to poor practices, such as excessive overtime, low wages, precarious contracts and unauthorised sub-contracting.

“It’s all about those with purchasing power using it to support better health and safety in supply chains. This, in turn, supports better business – a win-win opportunity for all concerned.”

The Institution advocates safer and healthier working practices and supply chain improvements with governments and international organisations worldwide.

In its consultation response to the UK Government on modern slavery and supply chains, IOSH raised the need for organisations to avoid late changes to their orders, unrealistic deadlines and compressed timescales. We also provided comments to the ISO’s Draft International Standard ISO 20400 – sustainable procurement guidance.

IOSH was delighted to attend the recent 16th ILO Asia Pacific Regional Meeting in Bali, where we took the opportunity to promote the importance of socially responsible business, by delivering a statement, which is cited in its meeting report (see here, p.25).

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