The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) has released a new tool for its members setting out health and safety guidelines to protect workers in the denim finishing industry.

The guidelines have been produced in coordination with the AAFA Safety in Denim Finishing Working Group (Denim Working Group), which was established to drive positive, sustainable solutions for social responsibility in the denim manufacturing industry by sharing information and industry best practices amongst brands, manufacturers, and other key stakeholders.

To this end, the purpose of the guidelines is to assist denim finishing facilities in providing a safe and healthy work environment that prevents accidents, injuries, and illnesses that may arise out of, or occur as a result of, the operation of their facilities.

The 84-page document 'Health & Safety Guidelines for Workers in Denim Finishing' looks at hazards in denim finishing across a range of processes, including washing, ozone treatment, dipping, curing, hand creasing, spraying, hand sanding and laser abrasion. Within each area it sets out recommended controls and good work practices covering machine and equipment safety, worker exposure protection, and the general work environment.

It also covers the storage, handling and use of chemicals, chemical exposure protection, and personal protective equipment (PPE).