Occupational Health & Safety

NIKE believes that the protection of life and health in the workplace is a fundamental right. Our vision is to provide a safe, hygienic, and healthy workplace, develop safety management systems, and foster a strong culture of safety in NIKE facilities as well as at NIKE’s suppliers.


Achieving this vision requires a clearly communicated corporate safety policy, integration of safety leadership capabilities, standardized and repeatable safety management systems, and an active and engaged workforce that is properly informed and adequately trained on the hazards of their job and how to perform their work safely. We have begun to factor these safety capabilities into how we measure safety performance at NIKE owned and operated facilities and contract manufacturers.


NIKE’s occupational health and safety (OH&S) philosophy is anchored in our corporate Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Policy; Code of Conduct; Code Leadership Standards and adherence to local law. With this foundation in place, we build innovative approaches for advancing safety systems and creating a culture of safety.


We monitor compliance to OH&S standards at NIKE owned and operated facilities and contract manufacturers through external audits and internal assessments. Gaps in implementation are treated as opportunities to develop management skills and tools to close gaps and improve performance. Additionally, we factor the results into our sourcing strategies in how we evaluate contract factory manufacturers performance, and how we determine with whom we will engage and grow our business. We have begun to extend this approach deeper into our supply chain.

Creating a Culture of Safety in Contract Factories

Fire safety, building safety, occupational health and machine safety issues remain the highest risk issues in the footwear and apparel manufacturing industry. When we find issues of non-compliance in these high-risk areas, we respond immediately and work with contract factories to remediate. We divest from those factories that fail to elevate performance.


  • Fire Safety – We require finished goods contract manufacturers to adopt fire prevention and emergency action plans to protect workers during normal working operations and emergency situations. To accelerate management capability, worker involvement, and understanding of fire safety issues and preventative measures, NIKE engaged with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) on a global initiative to develop and implement a portfolio of fire prevention and fire safety tools for factories. In FY18, the program expanded to over 33 factory locations, more than 2,100 workers were trained as safety leaders, and more than 90,000 workers completed training sessions on fire safety.
  • Building Safety – Buildings must be constructed or retrofitted according to the laws of the manufacturing country, international standards if local laws do not exist, or certified structural engineering construction standards.
  • Occupational Health – Additionally, we require our suppliers to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, and control occupational health and hygiene hazards in the workplace, use routine monitoring and analytical methods to determine the potential health effects of hazards that are present in the workplace, and control worker exposure to these health hazards.
  • Machine Safety – Our new Code Leadership Standards require our contract manufacturers to implement machine management programs and track their performance against international machine safety standards.


Establishing a culture of safety is a continual journey. We recognize that individual contract factories and facilities are at different levels of maturity. NIKE has developed a safety maturity model, based on existing academic research and published white papers, and assessment tools to allow our contract manufacturing partners to self-evaluate their capabilities to implement a world-class safety management system in their factories. The ability to self-criticize, accurately assess strengths and identify areas for improvement is a critical enabler of establishing a mature culture of safety. To support this capability and accelerate safety culture in our factory contract manufacturers, NIKE has developed an online training on how to use our self-assessment tools.


Factories self-assess their safety culture using the maturity model. The self-assessment can be supported by third party consultants or NIKE staff, and the results are calibrated with a worker/management safety perception survey. The calibrated results are used as a leading indicator of safety performance.


As we continue our journey to elevate a culture of safety within our supply chain and across our industry, we actively seek opportunities to team up with others beyond NIKE to resolve common occupational health and safety issues. In addition to our engagement with the FLA, we work closely with Better Work – a joint program of the International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation – to advance issues of health and safety in our industry. Safe operation of boilers and pressure vessels is an emerging issue in our industry. NIKE benchmarked Better Work’s approach to boiler safety, and we have strengthened our program through our new Code Leadership Standard.


Additionally, we worked jointly to develop simple tools and training on boilers and pressure vessels for the benefit of all Better Work factories, not only NIKE contract manufacturer factories. NIKE actively participates in local Better Work programs in Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Nicaragua and Jordan. Our local teams in these countries, along with Better Work, continue to work closely with our contract manufacturers to build management capabilities and to enhance the health and wellbeing of their workers.


For example, in Cambodia, all NIKE factories are monitored under the Better Work program. In 2017, the Cambodian Labor Ministry drafted safety and health guidelines that included items on preventing incidents of fainting among factory workers. In partnership with Better Work, the NIKE team confirmed that the factories were meeting these requirements. Better Work has specifically called out the issue of poor nutrition – as one of many contributing factors to mass faintings – and we continue to explore with Better Work and our suppliers how to best address this and other drivers behind this complex issue.


Committed to Creating a Safe and Healthy Workplace at NIKE Facilities In FY18, NIKE developed a comprehensive, enterprise-wide Environmental Health & Safety Policy. The policy affirms our commitment to operating in a safe and responsible manner in order to protect the environment and safeguard the health and safety of our employees, contract manufacturers and customers. It formally extends NIKE’s Code of Conduct and Code Leadership standards to NIKE’s own facilities as well as our supply chain manufacturers. The policy also outlines the ways in which we meet our commitments. NIKE published the policy as a public dedication of our commitment to continually innovate and improve the way in which we create a safe and healthy workplace.


General OH&S compliance remain a constant goal for NIKE owned and operated facilities, with individual business operations focusing on the biggest risks to their operation. NIKE’s global OH&S program centers on developing and implementing consistent management systems to enable risk-based prioritization. Machine safety, chemical management, controlling hazardous energy and implementing comprehensive injury reporting are examples of ongoing enterprise-wide initiatives.