Health and safety

Our approach

2020 highlights

Occupational health and safety (OHS)

Occupational health and safety are a top priority for our management team. We recognize that our operations, and the manufacturing industry in general, inherently involve potential risks and hazards, and we have to manage these appropriately to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees. To ensure compliance with health and safety standards, our factories are subject to monthly audits conducted by in-house safety coordinators and auditors and third-party auditors mandated by various external stakeholders.

Health and safety committees

Formal health and safety committees, composed of managers, supervisors, and production workers, are established at nearly all Company-owned factories and many of our administrative offices and distribution centres. These committees meet once a month to review operational performance and discuss preventive measures at their respective locations. They also review any health and safety accidents that may have occurred during the review period, and they create recommendations for improvements.

Ergonomics

Apparel manufacturing inherently poses physical risks through exposure to repetitive movements and vibrations and the tendency for incorrect posture, all of which can contribute to musculoskeletal disorders. At all our factories, we conduct health awareness campaigns and offer a comprehensive ergonomics program to identify early symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders and areas for improvement.

Access to medical care

Access to high-quality, affordable, and consistent healthcare can be challenging in many of the areas where we operate. To ensure our employees receive the healthcare they need, we operate fully equipped medical clinics at our manufacturing factories in Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and Bangladesh to give our employees access to free primary care. These clinics are staffed with well-trained doctors and nurses from around the world, accounts for more than 140 healthcare professionals that work directly for Gildan.

Fire and building safety
Fire and building safety

Our factories have built-in fire safety systems, such as fire control infrastructure, sprinkler systems, emergency exits, fire alarms, and other safety mechanisms, such as our fire and safety committees. In addition, all employees participate in regular fire and safety drills.

In Bangladesh, we made significant upgrades to our factory following its acquisition in 2010 to ensure that we could provide our employees with a safe and healthy workplace. In 2014, this facility underwent a rigorous third-party audit by the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord to ensure it had a proper building and electrical structure. Since then, members of the Accord have regularly visited the facility to ensure the proper completion of remediation plans.

Enhanced health and safety measures during COVID-19

In April of 2020, we mobilized a team of experts that developed and implemented stringent processes to protect our frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. We implemented a strict biosecurity protocol at all of our Company-owned factories worldwide and continue to enforce them globally to this day.

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