Case Study: Enhancing Worker Safety and Well-Being
Health and safety in Bangladesh factories persists as an issue, particularly in the garment industry.
In 2019, we learned that products sold by third-party selling partners in the Amazon Store were potentially linked to factories with unsafe working conditions in Bangladesh. We took immediate action to remind selling partners that Amazon’s Supply Chain Standards apply to all products sold on Amazon and that under those standards, Amazon expects all products sold in the Amazon Store or provided to Amazon to be manufactured or produced in safe, healthy, and inclusive work environments.
We issued new guidance specifically prohibiting the selling of products made in factories deemed ineligible under the Bangladesh Accord or Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, which evaluates Bangladesh garment factories for workplace safety. We removed any products connected with such factories from our Amazon Store. We also notified selling partners that we will evaluate all credible allegations or reports of selling partner violations of our Supply Chain Standards, including but not limited to those published by governments, reputable investigators, journalists, or human rights defenders.
In addition to engaging third-party selling partners at issue in the allegations, we went further to proactively engage all suppliers manufacturing Amazon-branded products in Bangladesh. We require verification of the safety of building structures and electrical and fire safety issues, and we conduct on-site inspections with certified engineers for the highest risk issues to track closure. We enhanced our pre-sourcing screening process for new Bangladesh suppliers to ensure that adequate building safety equipment and systems are in place as a pre-condition to being approved for Amazon production.
As a way to further support workers in the Bangladesh garment industry, we also invested in the Amader Kotha Helpline which provides workers throughout the region, including many of Amazon’s own suppliers, with a grievance mechanism to report and quickly resolve factory concerns in the ready-made garment sector in Bangladesh.