Back and Shoulder Health
in medicine, vaccines and vitamins for employees
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. 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. The Company continues to deliver best-in class ergonomics programs, developed in partnership with the Ergonomic Center of North Carolina in all of its facilities.
In 2017 the Company initiated a project to develop our model into a more tailor-made program that takes into consideration the specifics of our operational layout. This assessment enabled our EHS professionals to form a diagnostic of our Ergonomics program resulting in new facility objectives, KPIs and a performance matrix specifically for Ergonomics.
Our employees can visit our Schools for Back Health and Shoulder Health, in-house clinics accessible to employees at all times, which focus on stretching and exercise sessions to promote back and shoulder injury prevention and promote proper posture.
We are pleased with the results achieved in 2017 as relates to Health and Safety but remain committed to pursue continuous improvements in these areas. For the 2017 fiscal year, our work-related injury rate was 0.34 while the OSHA Apparel Manufacturing benchmark was 2.0. The Company also achieved better results on the number of cases involving days away from work, 0.34 versus 0.40 for the industry.
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.
We provide employees with frontline healthcare in all of our owned facilities in Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Bangladesh through fully equipped medical clinics, which operate 24 hours, 7 days a week and focus on workplace-related health issues.
Key 2017 facts on our medical clinics:
181,075 medical consultations
Focused on workplace-related health issues, general health consultations, pre-natal care and awareness campaigns
Free medication and vitamins
11,828 vaccines administered during campaigns against influenza, hepatitis B and tetanus.
The Company has invested over US $1.2 billion in our facilities over the last ten years, building some of the world’s largest and most modern manufacturing facilities which feature state-of-the-art equipment and facilities all designed with strict fire and building safety standards in place.
All of our owned textile facilities have built-in fire safety systems, such as fire control infrastructure, sprinkler systems, emergency exits and fire alarms, among other safety mechanisms, with drills performed twice each year. We are a member of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and were amongst the first companies in the country to complete the remediation plans as required.
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.
In 2017, approximately 77% of Gildan employees were represented by formal health and safety committees.