About 4,500 garment workers in southern Vietnam are set to join an annual fun run program in Binh Duong Province this weekend to highlight the issue of health and safety in the apparel industry.
The 2015 “Safety Fun Run” slated for Sunday is the sixth event of its kind organized by Better Work Vietnam, a partnership between the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation.
The event aims to strengthen connections among workers, employers, buyers and the wider community to raise awareness on health and safety topics facing workers, according to a statement issued by the ILO on Wednesday.
A study by non-profit organization Business for Social Responsibility on women’s health showed that workers at some factories in the apparel and footwear industries face a range of common ailments, including upper respiratory tract infections, headache, fatigue and diarrhea.
Recent focus groups conducted by Better Work also revealed cases of workers skipping meals and factory doctors identifying signs of poor nutrition.
“Healthcare practices and nutrition issues affect both workers’ health and productivity at work,” said Better Work Vietnam Manager Nguyen Hong Ha. “By supporting a healthy workforce, factories are investing not only in better lives for workers, but in better business outcomes too. In this respect it’s a win-win for all.”
Better Work Vietnam now has a membership of more than 350 factories across Vietnam, with a total of more than 430,000 workers. Around 80 percent of them are female.