Business Ethics

Best Available Techniques for Leather Industry

Leather Wet Blue - Leather Industry Best Available Techniques
Leather Wet Blue

Following are some of the best available techniques that can not only reduce your environmental footprint but can also contribute to increase your process efficiency leading to reduced overall costs.

  • Installation of water flow meters at all water supplies and maintain water consumption records on monthly basis
  • Insulate the surfaces above 50°C with optimum thickness
  • Remove redundant utility lines and optimize the routing of utilities
  • Plan evaluation of efficiencies of utilities (Boiler, Generator, Compressors, etc) generation, distribution and utilization on periodic basis
  • Inspect the steam, hot water, freshwater, compressed air lines and fittings for any leakages
  • Use desalting drums
  • Switch to new technology of tanning drums
  • Switch from continuous, “running water washes” to batch washes
  • Water used in washing hides before the Main Soaking process can be collected and reused in Pre-Soaking.
  • The water used in the liming process can be reused in next liming process batch after filtration. The pollution loads up to 70% of Sulfate [S2-] and 93% of Lime [Ca(OH)2] load can easily be reduced, which can contribute in reducing 7% load of BOD and 26% load of COD in overall wastewater at end of pipe.
  • Water used in Deliming washing can be collected and reused in Post Liming.
  • Water used in Post Deliming & Bating washing can be collected and reused in Pre-Soaking wash.
  • Carbon dioxide deliming can be used to neutralized lime it decreases pollution load of effluents if feasible
  • Wetback water can be collected and reused in next Wetback lot
  • Water from washing of Wetback can be collected and reused in wetback of successive lot
  • Reuse of pickling and tanning floats in successive cycles
  • Rechroming Water which is drained to waste after completing the process can be collected and recycled back for the rechroming of next lot or can be directed towards in house chrome recovery plant.
  • Post Neutralization Washing Water can be collected and reused as Neutralization Water for the next lot.
  • Recycle cooling water from Machines like Vacuum Press, Sammying, pumps, compressors etc.
  • Curing salt that is attached to the raw hides [Cow, Buffalo] and skins [goat] can be recovered and reused. It is estimated that 50 kg of salt can be obtained from desalting 1,000 kg of raw stock.
  • Decrease the amount of salt used to preserve hides by adding some environmentally acceptable antiseptics (boric acid, acetic acid and sodium suplhide) or commercial bactericides based mainly on ethyldithiocarbamate and isthiazolin. Pollution load in soaking wastewater is reduce to 50%.
  • Processing of green hides (unsalted fresh hides) is preferred if cooling and chilling is feasible.
  • Dyes containing hazardous heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and chrome VI shall be avoided.
  • Fat liquoring agents based on chlorinated paraffins shall be avoided and other environmental friendly synthetic fat liquors should be used
  • Benzidine and other azo-dyes which may be reduced to carcinogenic amines should be avoided.
  • Avoid finishing operations with pigments containing environmentally hazardous heavy metals and other restricted products
  • Whenever possible use water-based finishes/solvents
  • Use of Solar water heating for process water heating
  • Use solar air drying for hides and skins wherever possible
  • Integration of photovoltaic in existing power supplies available
  • Build training routines for staff at all hierarchical levels
Business Ethics

Chemical Safety

Chemical safety guide :.public domain pictures

In today’s world chemicals are commonly used everywhere in society, with both positive and negative impacts on health, well-being, social & economic aspects and the environment. At international level chemicals management and regulations is still insignificant nonetheless the impacts of chemicals are very significant. Still Serious incidents occur and there are still adverse effects on both human health and surrounding environment, and it is an accepted reality that the environment can be save/conserved by chemical management at workplace. In addition, the proper management of chemicals has continued importance, specially according to the goals approved at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg to ensure that, by the end of year 2020, chemicals production and usage is in ways that lessen the significant adverse harmful impacts on the environment and people. So, the proper management of chemicals is very important for the safety of people and environment. The person responsible for chemicals management should ensure below points:

  • Prepare, update, maintain and implement the chemical safety plans
  • Maintain a record and manifest (if applicable) of hazardous chemicals and notify the regulator of obvious quantities if necessary
  • Identify the risk of physical or chemical reaction of hazardous chemicals and ensure the stability of dangerous chemical substances
  • Ensure that exposure standards are not exceeded
  • Provide health monitoring to workers
  • Provision of information, training, instruction and supervision for workers
  • Spill containment system provision for hazardous chemicals if required
  • Obtaining the latest MSDS (material safety data sheet) from the chemical suppliers
  • Providing the information in the local language
  • Ignition sources control and accumulation of flammable substances separately
  • Supply and availability of fire protection, fire extinguishing and emergency equipment and safety equipment
  • Prepare an emergency plan if the amount of a hazardous chemical class in a workplace exceeds the amount shown for this hazardous chemical
  • Keeping in mind the stability and support of pipes and containers for bulk of hazardous chemicals
  • Commissioning and decommissioning of storage areas and handling
  • If there is any waste notify the certified contractor for proper handling (reuse or incineration)

Business Ethics

Workers Consultation Program

Belcher Roofing Safety Director conducted a fall protection tool box talk at a Temple University project in Philadelphia


Small and medium enterprises or even larger organization treat health and safety inspections as dreadful comprehensive rules and if there is a smallest violation/non compliance, business might get sanctions/restrictions etc. at the same time, without any doubt there are certain reasons to pay attention to workplace safety.

In 2013, 1134 people were killed and another 2500 got injured in Rana Plaza Incident in Bangladesh. Similarly in 2015, it is estimated that each week 93 individuals got killed on job and 3% of them had been seriously harmed or got sick. By conducting a proper investigation it was found that most of these deaths and injuries were preventable

Workplace safety programs have been in place since long and safety professionals have been monitoring and managing it, but there was more needed to control the incidents.

Workers Consultation Programs:

It is human nature to get involved in things and have a say in something and workers are no different. Humans intend to cooperate and willingly get involved more if they consider that their voice is being heard and taken into consideration.

Workers are the once,, who are involved in workplace most of their time and they have the most know how of the operations, hazards from them and how it can be  controlled without disturbing the operation. This type of understanding and knowledge of hazards might not be considered in any controls or training conducted by management so it can be utilized somehow to contribute positively.

Adopted by multiple customers, this is a free and voluntary consultation program that is designed to assist organization to identify and mitigate the workplace hazards causing reduction in serious injuries and deaths related to workplace hazards.

Workers consultation and participation has become part of ISO standard (ISO 45001-2018 – Clause 5.4).

There are certain type of customer compliance requirements that ask organization to develop a joint workers councils for this purpose.

The workers consultation is sought in below mentioned areas:

  • Consultation in case of defining policies of organization
  • Suggestion schemes
  • Use of new materials
  • Reviewing the current safety arrangement and opportunism of improvements
  • For training and development
  • Workplace or working methods changing
  • Safety performance evaluation
  • Participation in hazard and risk assessments
  • Incident/accident investigation – that show, actually what, how, where, when the incident happened
  • To share roles and responsibilities of workers
  • To share legal and standard compliance requirements

In most of the countries workers consultation and participation is sought through labor unions, trade unions etc.

Means of Workers consultation:

Workers consultation and participation can be encouraged through various means as follows:

  • Labor Unions (Collective Bargaining Agents)
  • Formal meetings
  • Suggestion and complaint boxes
  • Training sessions
  • Tool box talks
  • Internal audits interviews

How Consultation and Participation is Encouraged:

  • Maintain a proper and continues channel of communication with workers
  • Make time and resources availability
  • Conduct employees satisfaction surveys
  • Involve leadership
  • Keep things simple
  • Communicate benefits of consultation and participation
  • Hold managers accountable

How to achieve outcomes:

  • Establish OHS committee including workers and management
  • Install suggestion boxes
  • Training and development
  • Include OHS in management meetings
  • Share outcomes of OHS performance with workers

Through workers consultation and participation an organization can comfortability achieve it OHS objectives and targets and bring real time improvements.

Business Ethics

What is Compliance? Understanding Compliance in Textile Sector

License: Creative Commons 3 – CC BY-SA 3.0 – pictopedia


Compliance means fulfilling / conforming to certain standard, rule , regulation, policies, SOP’s or goals set out by organization. It can be:

  • National legal requirement
  • International legal requirement
  • Customer Requirement
  • Certification requirements
  • Internal Policies, procedures, guidelines

So, in this article we are going to list down compliance requirement in the Apparel & Footwear sector.

Due to Lack of Compliance, what can happen, You can read it here:

Categories of Compliance:

There are different types of compliance’s that are required from a textile unit to fulfill. Types of compliance with their brief introduction are as follows:


1.Social /Labor Compliance:

This is the type of compliance where you are required to fulfill labor law requirement as required by National labor Law or ILO and some best practice requirements by customer. It covers:

  • Payment issues
  • Working Hours
  • Working Environment
  • Disciplinary practices
  • Labor Practices

2.OHS Compliance:

In this type of compliance you are asked to fulfill Occupation, health and safety requirements. It can Standards set out by local authorities or standards made by customer. Customers can also ask you to fulfill different international standard e.g. OSHAS etc. It covers:

  • Fire Safety
  • Machine Safety
  • Electrical Safety
  • Physical/biological Hazards

Read More here: How Lean Manufacturing System can improve EHS

3.Environmental Compliance:

Here a factory have to comply with Environmental requirements that can be local or international or requirements set out by customer. Environmental Compliance covers:

  • How you manage waste of your facility?
  • You have environment permit or not?
  • What is the impact of your activities / processes?
  • How you manage your processes/activities to make it environment friendly

4.Product Quality Compliance:

Product quality is a very important compliance area. This is where there is zero tolerance. If a product is not a quality product then you won’t get the customer. In Product quality compliance, we consider:

  • How a company manages its products?
  • How a quality product is ensured?
  • What are the faults?
  • How the defects are removed?
  • How material is handled?

5.Security Compliance

This compliance is mostly applicable on export oriented industries. This compliance arises due to terrorism and customer data protection issues. It will include:

  • Who have access to certain areas?
  • Who have access to data/files?
  • How products are packed?
  • How some areas are access restricted?
  • How site security is ensured?
  • How product design security is ensured?

6.Structural / Building Compliance:

After collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, international brands have now been trying to make sure that this does not happen again. Brands are conducting building assessment.

  • What is the strength of building?
  • What is the load capacity of the building?
  • What are defect in the building?
  • How building can be made safe?

7.Certification Compliances:

There can be different types of certification e.g. Management system certification, social, environmental, quality, safety certification against different standards e.g ISO standards, BSCI, SMETA etc. there might be some special requirements of these certifications depending on standards e.g. how documents are managed etc.

Conformance with these requirements depending on their applicability is compulsory. If some requirement is not meet, it leads to Non-Conformance or Non- Compliance.

If there is any serious non-compliance then:

  • Customer can stop business
  • Legal authority can seal the company
  • Certification body can cancel certification