formal Health and Safety committees
a health clinic on site
on our environmental health and safety policies and procedures
Health and safety is 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 it is our duty to manage these risks and hazards appropriately to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees.
To ensure compliance with H&S standards, company-owned facilities are subject to monthly audits conducted by in-house safety coordinators and internal corporate social responsibility auditors, in addition to third-party auditors mandated by various external stakeholders.
Continuous improvement can only be achieved if processes are carefully measured and monitored so we diligently scrutinize work-related injury and severity rates throughout our operations to identify any areas where progress could be made. Although our work-related injury and severity rates increased slightly over the past year, our performance continues to significantly outpace industry standard.
Formal health and safety committees, composed of managers, supervisors and production workers have been established at nearly all company-owned production facilities as well as many of our administrative offices and distribution centers. These committees meet once a month to review operational performance and discuss preventive measures to be implemented at their respective locations. The committees also review any health and safety accidents that may have occurred during the review period and create recommendations for improvements to our health and safety programs.
Apparel manufacturing inherently poses the potential hazards of exposure to repetitive movements and vibrations as well as issues related to incorrect posture, which can all contribute to musculoskeletal disorders.
We have partnered with ergonomic experts to identify and address ergonomic risks and deliver leading ergonomic programs at our facilities. The Company has focused considerable attention on shop floor ergonomics, material handling processes and innovative equipment layout to optimize the production environment and reduce the potential effects on our employees.
Employees at our three largest facilities can visit schools for back and shoulder health. These in-house clinics are accessible to employees at all times and focus on stretching and exercise sessions to promote correct posture and techniques to mitigate the risks of back and shoulder injuries.
We provide employees with frontline healthcare in our owned facilities in Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Bangladesh through fully equipped medical clinics, which operate 24 hours, 7 days a week delivering primary medical care and focus on workplace-related health issues.
These clinics deliver tremendous value to our employees, by lowering the cost of health care, reducing lost worktime and transportation costs of external clinics and most importantly, allowing the employees to be treated by the same medical staff over time, which ensures a continuity of care which can be difficult to obtain in the public or private systems in the regions where we operate
Key 2019 facts on our medical clinics:
195,603 medical consultations
Focused on workplace-related health issues, general health consultations, pre-natal care and awareness campaigns
Free medication and vitamins
15,351 vaccines administered
55 doctors and 93 nurses on staff
Our vertically-integrated supply chain allows us to have direct oversight of our operations, enabling us to have enhanced operational control over our health and safety practices. All of our owned facilities have built-in fire safety systems, such as fire control infrastructure, sprinkler systems, emergency exits and fire alarms, among other safety mechanisms like our Fire and Safety committees.
In Bangladesh for example, we significantly upgraded our facility following its acquisition in 2010 to ensure 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 the facility had a proper building and electrical structure. Since then, members of the Accord have continued to visit the facility on a regular basis to ensure the proper completion of the remediation plans.