The LABS Initiative aims to promote safer working conditions for factory workers by mitigating preventable fire, electrical, and structural building safety risks in key production countries in the apparel, footwear, accessories, and home textile sectors in a targeted way.

It is currently operational in India, Vietnam, and Cambodia, and the expansion into Indonesia is a strategic move that aligns with the programme’s ambition to mitigate safety risks in key apparel production countries in the sector.

The initiative will operate in all major production hubs of Indonesia and is expected to benefit approximately 275,000 workers.

“With the launch of the LABS Initiative in Indonesia, we hope that we can collaborate and develop standard procedures to help provide safer working conditions for the workers that is also aligned to laws and regulations in the country,” said Kimron Manik, director of construction sustainability, directorate general of construction, Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing of the Republic of Indonesia.

As a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder effort that brings together brands, industry stakeholders, government agencies, and non-profit organisations, LABS promotes sector-wide transformation to promote safe practices and create safer work environments.

Currently, brands including Gap Inc., Target, VF Corporation, and Walmart are participating in the LABS programme.

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LABS facilitates the assessment of factories and provides a framework for monitoring, mitigating, and remediating the safety risks identified. Since the programme’s launch in 2019, LABS has made significant progress in reaching out to over 837,000 workers and conducting over 400 assessments in factories. LABS has engaged with the factories to remediate issues that were identified during assessments and achieved a 77% remediation rate.

In addition to assessments and remediation efforts, LABS provides capacity-building support to stakeholders through training programmes and technical assistance to enhance their knowledge and skills in life and building safety. So far, the Initiative has conducted over 650 safety trainings.

“At LABS, we are committed to improving worker safety and will build on our learnings and engagements to build partnerships in Indonesia,” said Pramit Chanda, global director for textiles and manufacturing at IDH. “We thank all our stakeholders including brands, factory owners, government, safety and training firms, civil society organisations, and workers, who have strengthened the programme and supported its roll out. We look forward to collaborating with partners in Indonesia to drive meaningful change and ensure that worker safety remains top priority in the sector in the country.”

Lukman Hakim, deputy assistant of policy support for government and national Values of the Vice President’s Office, Republic of Indonesia added: “We are glad that LABS has initiated the platform for safety in taking care of human resources and physical resources which present an opportunity to make improvements in all fields. In this regard, we look forward to LABS Initiative helping stakeholders in Indonesia in a collaborative manner and addressing issues together in a steadfast way, for providing a safe and healthy environment to workers in all sectors.”