Sample Essay

The working conditions were unsatisfactory and posed greater danger to the employees at Lafarge.  According to Social Accountability 8000 (SA8000), it stipulate that  the company ought to provide a safe and healthy work environment; take steps to prevent injuries; regular health and safety worker training; and to have system to detect threats to health and safety. Going by these international standards, Lafarge was far off meeting this standard because the site had a lot of rubbish, rusty components scattered all over the place, waste materials and broken dust collectors. Worse of all the smoke was all over the place which is hazardous, yet there was limited physical examination extended to employees that resulted to various injuries, accidents and skyrocketing number of sick leaves.

The company made steps towards minimizing the hazardous working environment to make it safe and satisfactory.  The company invested 1 million RMB to be used in upgrading Health Safety and Environment (HSE) related issues. As opposed t the past, the changed domain of HSE encompassed one physical examination after every two year in this improved work environment unlike only one examination done from 1991 to 1994 with polluted environment. These initiatives for safe environment in line with compliance with SA8000 had positive impacts in terms of cutting down number of accidents evident from 2200 to 104 from 1995 to 1998 (Lafarge internal company document).  In fact to show commitment, the firm went as far as involving a third party safety audit in the Lafarge safety management structure. Moreover, the meetings reflected the issues that relate to health and safety. This was not only a positive incentive, but also boosted productivity and ensured health of employees assured.

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