Inspections – both announced and unannounced
Our CSR specialists travel out to the factories and perform regular inspections. These inspections may be either announced or unannounced. Vegard explains how an inspection is carried out.
“The first thing we usually do when we turn up at the factory is hold a meeting with the factory’s management team and other people of relevance to the inspection. We tell them what we’re expecting from the inspection and how we’ll be conducting it. Then we review all the buildings and production premises, indoor and outdoor areas and passageways, plus all machinery and safety equipment.
As the inspection progresses, Varner staff also form an impression of the factory’s work environment and how the people who work there interact.
“We assess how people work together, what safety is like, whether the way the factory is organised presents any risks, or what procedures are in place – or not, as the case may be – to promote safety and good working conditions. We also chat to people working in the factory as we carry out our inspection, and we hold interviews with both workers and managers. Workers are interviewed in isolated rooms, and in some cases we’ll hold follow-up chats with staff outside the factory, or over the phone.”
The CSR department chats to workers about everyday topics, how things are going for them at work and how things are for them on a general level. Language is a vital factor in this regard, and it’s essential for the inspection to be sufficiently thorough. It’s also important to be aware of local cultures and regulations during an inspection of this kind. That’s why it’s necessary for specialists from the local offices to carry out the inspections.
Checking documents and certifications
The factory’s guidelines, procedures and payrolls, timesheets and payment summaries are all checked by our CSR department. Certifications, permits, licences and approvals from the authorities are also reviewed.
“When an inspection is complete, the factory is given a improvement plan that might involve minor findings that can be resolved easily, or more extensive finds that require extensive efforts to resolve,” says Vegard.
When the matters requiring improvement have been identified, a discussion is held on whether the factory can resolve the findings alone, or whether they need help.