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Photos that clues you in on factory conditions

Child in a factory This picture shows obviously children in the factory. We have to understand why they are here. As you can immediately tell, they are standing near there mother and have few toys around. Taking the date into consideration, the pictures was taken a few days before Chinese New Year, a time when children are off from school. Everything shows that these children are not workers, but only that the factory has permitted the mother to bring them in. Moreover, the workshop is not dangerous.
In our opinion, the factory should not be condemned for that.

A man within loads of garments
Several problem areas are noticeable in this picture of one man surrounded by loads of garments to clean. These are among others:
1) evacuation in an emergency will probably be difficult,
2) the mask used does not protect from the chemicals,
3) electrical sprays are scattered among the garments,
4) flammable goods and aerosol are scattered, and
5) the heat power of this load of garment is high.
All this should leads us not only check if there are fire extinguishers, but also many other aspects such as if they are appriopate for such places, if the worker knows how to use it, if workers have the awareness level of the effects of the chemicals, if the worker knows how to operate the ventilation of the room, and what electrical protection tools are availiable.

A man sleeping on fabric and unfinished goods
One man alone or several? We have to determine the reason for this worker to sleep during a production period. Is it because of working overtime in the factory the night before, or an external factor linked to this worker only such as a personal reason? Is it this common with this factory or with this worker, or an exceptional one? All are answers that are very useful to understand the situation with working hours in this factory.

Men handsewing near production lines
Workers sitting close to the wall are sewing small metal decorations. Even if the overcrowded situation of this workshop is obvious, it is still important to keep in mind an audit should not be just a snapshot of the factory, but an assessment that includes time as a factor. For example, is it a normal or typical for the factory or is it only due to a specific order? On the other hand, if these workers haven't been here, would we try to find signs indicating if this space is usually used for production?

These are a few samples. We hope they will lead you to take a closer and longer look at the pictures, and try to figure out why the auditor feels it was important to take it.

You can access more of our pictures from previous audits including the last newsletter updates by following this link.

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Release date: 2009-07-13

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