On 27 April 2017, the ILO Office for China and Mongolia and the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) launched a project to improve the productivity competitiveness and sustainability of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Fangshan District, Beijing, under the ILO’s Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises or SCORE program. This is a new milestone for the project.
With strong commitment of SAWS, ILO-SAWS SCORE Project has been implementing in China for three years and produced fruitful results. The effectiveness of SCORE Project has been broadly recognized by government, workers and employers. A wide range of good practice has been generated in particular in the sphere of safety inspection, improvement of productivity of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), and engagement of multinational big buyers to improve social performance in their supply chain factories.
Built on the success, SAWS determined to expand the program to Beijing and has identified Fangshan District to pilot SCORE methodology. Ten enterprises from precarious sectors such as manufacturing, chemical, textiles and others have registered the SCORE Training.
“China has a huge number of SMEs, yet OSH management system hasn’t created in the majorities of these factories. Accidents including major ones still happen at workplace. SCORE has demonstrated its effectiveness in improving work safety and health. Addressing workplace safety challenge, we need to expand the SCORE Project to more areas and more enterprises”, said Mr. Ma Rui, Director General of No. Four Department for Safety Supervision and Management of SAWS. “We need to embed SCORE into the National OSH Management System. We need to change the mind-set of employers and make them recognize their responsibility for providing safe and healthy working environment for workers, and create a sustainable mechanism to achieve zero injury at workplace”.
Nancy Leppink, Chief of the Labour Administration, Labour Inspection and Occupational Safety and Health Branch of the International Labour Organization (ILO) attended the launching event. She pointed a growing body of evidence that improving OSH can also enhance the overall productivity of enterprises. She said “The SCORE pilot project in China has demonstrated a training programme designed for SMEs can be effective in improving safety and health as well as productivity in the workplace.”
“The ILO’s technical branch on labour inspection and OSH in Geneva and our specialists in Bangkok will fully support the expansion of the SCORE project in China and commit to exploring together strategy and tools to better assist SMEs to improve their compliance with laws and standards. Through this support we work with SAWS to strengthen their inspection services and devise means for SMEs to access external OSH consultancy services and information. “
Ms. Leppink concluded “Occupational Safety and Health is a core mandate of the ILO. Securing the safety and health of workers in their workplaces is central to the ILO’s decent work agenda and the UN 2030 sustainable development goals. “
Around 60 participants joined the event. These include officials from SAWS of national and local levels, officials from the local district government bureau, and representatives of the ILO Office from HQs, Regional Office and Beijing Office.
According to the work plan of Fangshan pilot program, ten factories will receive SCORE Training on Module One and Module Five namely workplace cooperation and occupational safety and health in the coming year. Factory training, coaching and consulting will be carried out from May 2017. By the end of the year, the project will organize an experience sharing workshop, and by the end of March 2018, case studies and good practice from the perspectives of factories, service providers and safety inspectors will be developed and shared.