Safety and Health in Myanmar Supply Chains - A Vision Zero Fund project

The Vision Zero Fund (VZF) Myanmar project strives to realize the goal of zero work-related fatalities and severe injuries and diseases, by improving occupational safety and health practices and conditions in the garment and ginger supply chains.

The objective of the Vision Zero Fund (VZF) project in Myanmar is to enhance prevention, protection, and compensation of work-related injuries, diseases, and deaths in industries operating in global supply chains.

VZF approach to occupational safety and health in global supply chains:
ILO (2017) - Phase approach of the VZF project.

During Phase I (2017), VZF has conducted assessments of the garment and ginger supply chains in Myanmar to identify the actors, the issues and possible market based solution where the activities of Phase II will focus on.

In both value chains, the assessment mapped the market system and supporting functions, the issues that negatively affect workers’ safety and health, and the market-based opportunities that can promote positive and sustainable change on workers’ safety and health.

Garment value chain

During the assessment, VZF met several garment sector stakeholders, visited factories, and conducted a thorough mapping and desk review that identified key occupational safety and health drivers and constraints in the garment and textile sector in Yangon and Mandalay. During Phase II (2018-2020), VZF will work in the garment value chain on two main areas:
  • filling knowledge gaps on hazards that can provide market-based incentives to invest in OSH; and
  • strengthening institutional frameworks and systems of OSH.
These will be done through a range of activities identified during the assessments conducted in Phase I:
  1. OSH risk assessment in the garment and textile sector, focusing on locally-owned factories and identifying best practices from the industry;
  2. Business case for OSH investments in the garment and textile sector, focusing on lessons that can help locally-owned factories achieve better integration in the global supply chain;
  3. Awareness raising among garment sector factories and industrial zones on OSH hazards prevalent in the industry, as well as on options to eliminate or control such hazards, in collaboration with the Factories and General Labour Laws Inspection Department (FGLLID) and partners; 
  4. Support the development of OSH management systems among garment factories;
  5. Support workers’ and employers’ associations in strengthening their capacity to disseminate OSH information;
  6. Capacity building for the Department of Industrial Supervision and Inspection, Ministry of Industry, in their ability to inspect boiler and electrical safety, and train and certify operators working in the garment industry;
  7. Technical support to the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Ministry of Health, on the definition of OSH standards, diagnostic criteria, and list of occupational diseases for compensation purposes;
  8. Revision of social security administrative procedures and core business processes of the Social Security Board to enhance access to compensation and alignment with efforts on better OSH data collection and inspection;
  9. Promote collaboration and coordination of OSH-related functions of the OSH system in Myanmar;
Activities in the garment sector will benefit government stakeholders in charge of OSH functions in the industry, as well as workers and employers who will benefit from enhanced access to information, compensation, and enforcement functions.

Certain activities such as the ones related to compensation will be concentrated in two townships: Hlaing Tharyar (Yangon) and Pyi Gyi Tha Kon (Mandalay).

Ginger value chain

During the assessment, VZF interviewed and consulted farmers, government officials, private sector representatives and development partners working in the ginger value chain in South Shan State to identify key occupational safety and health drivers and constraints, as well opportunities and potential marked based solutions.

During Phase II (2018-2020), VZF will work in the ginger value chain in six townships in Southern Shan State: Kalaw, Pindaya, Pinlaung, Hopone, Nyangshwe and Lawksawk.

OSH activities identified for the ginger value chain will benefit ginger farmers who will have access to better information on the safe use of agrochemicals and other OSH-related information that can improve their working conditions, as well as government stakeholders from the Department of Agriculture.

These activities include:
  1. Awareness raising among farmers on the use of agrochemicals and other OSH hazards (e.g. physical and ergonomics);
  2. Capacity building to input retailers and the Department of Agriculture on effective information sharing on the safe use of agrochemicals;
  3. Support the creation of farmers groups and enhance their capacity to promote information sharing on good OSH practices at the community level;
  4. Promote certification processes that help eliminate or control OSH hazards (organic and Good Agricultural Practices);
  5. Support to OSH management systems and Lean Factory Designs that keep workers safe and inventory undamaged among ginger processors;
  6. Promotion of productivity enhancements among traders in Aung Ban market that enhances working conditions and inventory management;

Watch how ginger farmers have been trained by the Vision Zero Fund: