Fire Safety and Levi Strauss & Co.

Levi Strauss & Co.
March 25, 2011

In her thoughtful post today, Terrie Norris reminded us of the Triangle Factory Fire and why that tragedy 100 years ago is so important to remember.

As president-elect of the American Society of Safety Engineers, Terrie understands the importance of a safe workplace — and the price paid when companies place profits above the safety of workers.

When Levi Strauss & Co. selects vendors to make our Levi’s®, Dockers® and Denizen™ products – worker safety is the top concern. Our agreements with these vendors make this very clear. We have several requirements that speak to safety and fire prevention – and zero tolerance for missteps related to life safety.

We provide our vendors with our Social and Environmental Sustainability Guidebook, which includes sample fire prevention plans, evacuation plans, chemical storage recommendations and an easy-to-use checklist to help factories with their fire prevention strategies.

You don’t have to go back to the Triangle Factory Fire of 100 years ago to find a need for such safety requirements. It was only this past December at a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, when a fire killed 29 people and injured more than 100. Like the Triangle Fire, workers were trapped behind locked exits and many jumped to their deaths.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s the United States or Bangladesh, worker safety is paramount and nothing we can ever take for granted.

Image: Andrew Biraj, Reuters