Worker’s safety programme, The Life and Building Safety Initiative (LABS) has launched a new collaborative platform, the Platform for Safety in Apparel and Footwear Industry (PSAFI), aimed at promoting fire, electrical and building safety and sustainable development in India’s apparel and footwear industry.

The platform seeks to provide a trusted and neutral space for industry stakeholders to come together, discuss, and exchange ideas on addressing safety issues in the sector. The initiative aims to promote a preventative safety culture and cooperation between governments, employers, workers, and their organisations.

At the launch event of PSAFI, LABS spokesperson Pramit Chanda said: “For us, some of the key objectives of the platform include identifying opportunities to scale interventions, improving the management of building safety risks, transparency in reporting, promoting gender empowerment and driving positive changes in safe working conditions in factories and industrial parks across the country and the manufacturing sector.”

Prajakta L Verma, joint secretary, ministry of textiles, the government of India, added: “There are a lot of challenges around worker safety, and especially the safety of women workers, which also presents an opportunity to make improvements. We look forward to PSAFI helping stakeholders in coming together in a collaborative manner and addressing issues together in a steadfast way, for providing a safe and healthy environment to workers in the sector.”

The launch event for PSAFI took place in New Delhi, India on 28 April, 2023, with discussions on topics such as “how various stakeholders in the supply chain look at worker safety’ and ‘what more needs to be done for providing safer working conditions.’

Experts, stakeholders, and representatives from the industry, government, and workers’ organisations came together to chart a path towards a safer and more sustainable future for the apparel and footwear industry in India.

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PSAFI is open to all interested parties, including industry professionals, policymakers, workers’ representatives, and other stakeholders, to join the platform and contribute to the collective efforts in improving safety in the apparel and footwear industry in India.

Earlier this week fashion brand Hugo Boss became the latest brand to sign the Pakistan Accord, underscoring its commitment to protecting the health and safety of garment workers.