The Life and Building Safety Initiative aims to improve worker safety in the apparel and footwear industry by effectively identifying and remediating the most pressing risks related to fire, electrical, and structural building safety and evacuation. LABS Initiative does this through developing a single country based, coherent and consistent life-safety program to assess factories and provide a framework for monitoring and ensuring mitigation and remediation.
Under LABS Initiative, in addition to applicable country laws, factories commit to adhering to a harmonized, country level standard around fire, electrical and building safety. To bring this about, together with technical experts and local stakeholders, LABS is working on the following:
For effective monitoring of the program’s progress, LABS Initiative is working with Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC). Together with FFC, LABS Initiative is creating a database to support the onboarding of and service provision to factories, as well as monitor progress and gather the information for public reporting.
These plans guide the remediation in the instances where the measures in place fall short. The plans identify areas of mitigation, which are supported by the program and monitored via an IT platform for consistent follow-up. The program will actively monitor the factories’ needs in order to facilitate their efforts to implement CAPs.
Community and local ownership of the program is critical, and therefore roundtables will be established. These roundtables address education, public policy and enforcement.