Categories
Business Ethics

Workers Consultation Program

Belcher Roofing Safety Director conducted a fall protection tool box talk at a Temple University project in Philadelphia

Introduction:

Small and medium enterprises or even larger organization treat health and safety inspections as dreadful comprehensive rules and if there is a smallest violation/non compliance, business might get sanctions/restrictions etc. at the same time, without any doubt there are certain reasons to pay attention to workplace safety.

In 2013, 1134 people were killed and another 2500 got injured in Rana Plaza Incident in Bangladesh. Similarly in 2015, it is estimated that each week 93 individuals got killed on job and 3% of them had been seriously harmed or got sick. By conducting a proper investigation it was found that most of these deaths and injuries were preventable

Workplace safety programs have been in place since long and safety professionals have been monitoring and managing it, but there was more needed to control the incidents.

Workers Consultation Programs:

It is human nature to get involved in things and have a say in something and workers are no different. Humans intend to cooperate and willingly get involved more if they consider that their voice is being heard and taken into consideration.

Workers are the once,, who are involved in workplace most of their time and they have the most know how of the operations, hazards from them and how it can be  controlled without disturbing the operation. This type of understanding and knowledge of hazards might not be considered in any controls or training conducted by management so it can be utilized somehow to contribute positively.

Adopted by multiple customers, this is a free and voluntary consultation program that is designed to assist organization to identify and mitigate the workplace hazards causing reduction in serious injuries and deaths related to workplace hazards.

Workers consultation and participation has become part of ISO standard (ISO 45001-2018 – Clause 5.4).

There are certain type of customer compliance requirements that ask organization to develop a joint workers councils for this purpose.

The workers consultation is sought in below mentioned areas:

  • Consultation in case of defining policies of organization
  • Suggestion schemes
  • Use of new materials
  • Reviewing the current safety arrangement and opportunism of improvements
  • For training and development
  • Workplace or working methods changing
  • Safety performance evaluation
  • Participation in hazard and risk assessments
  • Incident/accident investigation – that show, actually what, how, where, when the incident happened
  • To share roles and responsibilities of workers
  • To share legal and standard compliance requirements

In most of the countries workers consultation and participation is sought through labor unions, trade unions etc.

Means of Workers consultation:

Workers consultation and participation can be encouraged through various means as follows:

  • Labor Unions (Collective Bargaining Agents)
  • Formal meetings
  • Suggestion and complaint boxes
  • Training sessions
  • Tool box talks
  • Internal audits interviews

How Consultation and Participation is Encouraged:

  • Maintain a proper and continues channel of communication with workers
  • Make time and resources availability
  • Conduct employees satisfaction surveys
  • Involve leadership
  • Keep things simple
  • Communicate benefits of consultation and participation
  • Hold managers accountable

How to achieve outcomes:

  • Establish OHS committee including workers and management
  • Install suggestion boxes
  • Training and development
  • Include OHS in management meetings
  • Share outcomes of OHS performance with workers

Through workers consultation and participation an organization can comfortability achieve it OHS objectives and targets and bring real time improvements.

Categories
Business Ethics

What is Compliance? Understanding Compliance in Textile Sector

License: Creative Commons 3 – CC BY-SA 3.0 – pictopedia

Introduction:

Compliance means fulfilling / conforming to certain standard, rule , regulation, policies, SOP’s or goals set out by organization. It can be:

  • National legal requirement
  • International legal requirement
  • Customer Requirement
  • Certification requirements
  • Internal Policies, procedures, guidelines

So, in this article we are going to list down compliance requirement in the Apparel & Footwear sector.

Due to Lack of Compliance, what can happen, You can read it here:

Categories of Compliance:

There are different types of compliance’s that are required from a textile unit to fulfill. Types of compliance with their brief introduction are as follows:

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1.Social /Labor Compliance:

This is the type of compliance where you are required to fulfill labor law requirement as required by National labor Law or ILO and some best practice requirements by customer. It covers:

  • Payment issues
  • Working Hours
  • Working Environment
  • Disciplinary practices
  • Labor Practices

2.OHS Compliance:

In this type of compliance you are asked to fulfill Occupation, health and safety requirements. It can Standards set out by local authorities or standards made by customer. Customers can also ask you to fulfill different international standard e.g. OSHAS etc. It covers:

  • Fire Safety
  • Machine Safety
  • Electrical Safety
  • Physical/biological Hazards

Read More here: How Lean Manufacturing System can improve EHS

3.Environmental Compliance:

Here a factory have to comply with Environmental requirements that can be local or international or requirements set out by customer. Environmental Compliance covers:

  • How you manage waste of your facility?
  • You have environment permit or not?
  • What is the impact of your activities / processes?
  • How you manage your processes/activities to make it environment friendly

4.Product Quality Compliance:

Product quality is a very important compliance area. This is where there is zero tolerance. If a product is not a quality product then you won’t get the customer. In Product quality compliance, we consider:

  • How a company manages its products?
  • How a quality product is ensured?
  • What are the faults?
  • How the defects are removed?
  • How material is handled?

5.Security Compliance

This compliance is mostly applicable on export oriented industries. This compliance arises due to terrorism and customer data protection issues. It will include:

  • Who have access to certain areas?
  • Who have access to data/files?
  • How products are packed?
  • How some areas are access restricted?
  • How site security is ensured?
  • How product design security is ensured?

6.Structural / Building Compliance:

After collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, international brands have now been trying to make sure that this does not happen again. Brands are conducting building assessment.

  • What is the strength of building?
  • What is the load capacity of the building?
  • What are defect in the building?
  • How building can be made safe?

7.Certification Compliances:

There can be different types of certification e.g. Management system certification, social, environmental, quality, safety certification against different standards e.g ISO standards, BSCI, SMETA etc. there might be some special requirements of these certifications depending on standards e.g. how documents are managed etc.

Conformance with these requirements depending on their applicability is compulsory. If some requirement is not meet, it leads to Non-Conformance or Non- Compliance.

If there is any serious non-compliance then:

  • Customer can stop business
  • Legal authority can seal the company
  • Certification body can cancel certification