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Indonesian garment factories step up to meet occupational safety and health standards
Through strengthening compliance with occupational safety and health (OSH) standards, two participating garment factories of Better Work Indonesia, a joint programme of ILO and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), have been recognized by the Ministry of Manpower and international buyers.
Compliance to occupational safety and health (OSH) standards are still a challenge for Indonesia’s garment industry. Better Work Indonesia (BWI), a partnership programme between the ILO and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), reported in its 2018 annual report that violations related to OSH comprise over half of the most cited issues of non-compliance.
Thus, the report recommended that social dialogue through OSH Committees (P2K3) is essential to meet national OSH standards. Effective social dialogue is also the key theme for this year’s ILO’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2022 which falls on 28 April: “Participation and social dialogue in creating a positive safety and health culture.”
The company considers OSH as an investment. Thus, any OSH-related facilities that need to be upgraded will be immediately upgraded as our top management believes in preventive actions."Rudy Gunawan, the factory’s compliance officer of PT Sumber Bintang Rejeki
To further improve workers’ participation and awareness in building an OSH preventive culture, the factory has also held OSH TikTok video competitions, games and “street quizzes”. The company’s top management has provided a full support to P2K3’s initiative without lengthy negotiations.
Rudy Gunawan, the factory’s compliance officer, said that the management immediately approved a Rp 140 million (US$9,755) lift renovation within two weeks after they learnt about a lift accident in another company. “The company considers OSH as an investment. Thus, any OSH-related facilities that need to be upgraded will be immediately upgraded as our top management believes in preventive actions. Do not wait until accidents happen,” exclaimed Rudy.
We must be willing to invest. We do not want any fatalities to happen just because we operate without permits or certificates."Dudi Rusmana, Assistant General Manager of PT Kanindo Makmur Jaya
A similar OSH investment is also conducted by PT Kanindo Makmur Jaya, a bag manufacturer in Jepara, Central Java. Its top executives in Jepara, Central Java said that they dedicate 5 percent of their monthly operational budget for OSH. The budget allocation includes permits to equip workers in specific departments and OSH Expert (AK3) certifications.
“We must be willing to invest. We do not want any fatalities to happen just because we operate without permits or certificates,” said company’s Assistant General Manager Dudi Rusmana.
Ricky Dwi Arisandi, secretary of the factory’s P2K3, recalled when the company faced hurdles to promote OSH when they first moved to Jepara in 2015. Local workers were still unfamiliar with OSH related issues as there was no nearby factory at that time. As the number of workers rapidly increased, so did the number of accidents.
OSH is not only important for us but also for our buyers so that together we can prevent negative impacts from OSH negligence that may damage both our reputation."Ricky Dwi Arisandi, secretary of PT Kanindo Makmur Jaya
In addition to monthly meeting and medical check-ups, the company also organizes a “sewing school” for new employees to simulate sewing machine operation before being deployed to the production area. The company also strictly follows health protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.
OSH compliance is for the benefit of all—companies, workers, surrounding communities and even the public at large."Djohar Ekananda, Enterprise Advisor of BWI
Djohar Ekananda, Enterprise Advisor of BWI, however admitted that company’s dedication and commitment to its P2K3 as shown by two companies above represents only a fraction of companies in Indonesia. “Although it is a requirement for company to form P2K3, many companies only establish them to fulfil administrative requirements,” he said.
Djohar concluded that efforts to prevent potential hazards is crucial. He quoted the ILO estimation that 2.3 million women and men around the world lose their lives due to work-related accidents or diseases every year. “It is equivalent to over 6,000 deaths every single day. Therefore, OSH compliance is for the benefit of all—companies, workers, surrounding communities and even the public at large,” he concluded.