Not just the reduction of their environmental footprint: Chinese tanneries also think about workers’ safety. The Committee for Production Safety in Industrial Tanning.
The city is known to be a specialized center of the tanning of pig hides. A few years ago, about 1.5 billion sq. feet of pig finished leather would be tanned in the area, as reported by Leather International. During its “golden” time, the location held over 400,000 workers that were employed by the tanning industry. The golden age indeed, because Pingyang’s government has stated taking steps in favor of sustainability since 2003, and the number of tanneries dropped from 1,290 to just ten, while in Shuitou there are only 8 left (source: dasmart.com).
How does the committee work
The 8 surviving tanneries joined the Shuitou Town Safety Committee. The autonomous organization, spontaneously created by local businesses, has the responsibility of maintaining supervision over the risks associated with production lines that workers face. The members of the organization are the legal representatives of the 8 tanneries, that select the director and vice-director of the committee. On-the-job training courses have also been taught inside tanneries, with the objective of promoting safety and prepare for emergency and life-saving procedures.
The committee’s goal, explains chinaleather.org, is to reduce the likelihood of an accident from the start, so that it may guarantee a safe production line for workers. Group internal to each tannery will be in charge of dealing with the critical aspects of the line also thanks to a more ordered and effective organizational model.