Local Initiative for OSH Network
LION is a non-profit organization focused on increasing workplace health and safety awareness that is located in Bandung, West Java.
LION’s vision is that all Indonesians can work without fear of injury or illness from their jobs because workplace health and safety hazards are understood and recognized by all.
The mission of LION is to identify unsafe working conditions and increase awareness of workers, unions, the public, and the government about occupational health and safety issues in Indonesia.
The Indonesian workforce is the fifth largest in the world with 116.5 million workers. Unfortunately, many of them suffer from pain, injury and even death on the job. Workplace conditions are often dangerous and safety regulations are not implemented. Informal workers are often ignorant of workplace hazards and have no safety training or protective equipment.
According to 2010 statistics from the Indonesian Manpower Ministry, 98,700 workers were injured and 1,965 employees died at work. These figures are low because informal or contract workers are excluded from the count. Since they don’t belong to the Indonesian social security program Jamsostek, the government is unable to track their injuries. In contrast, the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that each year, 12,921,000 workers are injured, 16,900 workers die from accidents and 12,877 die from dangerous substance exposures.
Indonesia already has passed occupational health and safety legislation with Act 1 of 1970 Keselamatan dan Kesehatan Kerja (K3) and associated regulations, but many companies fail to comply fully. In 2011, the Indonesian Minister of Manpower Muhaimin Iskandar stated that his department issued 3,848 violations of K3 regulations, 7,468 verbal warnings and 1,472 strong warning letters. Again this is likely an underestimate of actual non-compliance due to inability of inspectors to see all work sites. LION was born out of a need. When it was initiated, nomechanism existed toinform workers and their unions about workplace hazards. This became apparent during workshops in 2009 conducted by the Institute for Labor Information Sedane (Lembaga Informasi Perburuhan Sedane/LIPS) and Asia Monitoring Resource Center (AMRC).They invited union representatives, workers and victims to share their experiences at workshops in several cities.
The stories they shared were terrible. They heard stories of factory laborers in hot, dusty, and unventilated rooms that worked with no respirators or other protective equipment. Production workers said they were using solvents, asbestos, and mercury without even realizing the materials were hazardous: their employer did not tell them. A worker reported getting sick from chemical exposures, but he could not get treatment. And last, a textile worker with a permanently injured hand could not get care or compensation because her employer did not register her with the government social security program, Jamsostek.
So many workers did not understand that workplace conditions were making them sick and causing injuries. The workshop organizers realized a need for a new organization that supports workers and labor unions in their quest for occupational health and safety rights. After the workshops, representatives from the National Worker’s Union (SPN), Asia Monitoring Resource Center (AMRC), the Legal Aid Foundation of Bandung and the Institute for Labor Information Sedane (LIPS) met on several occasions and agreed to initiate an organization that supports workers and labor unions by providing information, training, and advocacy on occupational health and safety.
Representatives of the above organizations became founding board members and LION was registered with the government as a non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) on March 12, 2010.
Letter from LION’s Director – Wiranta Yudha
I was inspired to found LION after hearing workplace accident victims’ stories and realizing there was no one to support them and fight for their rights. I spoke with a woman who lost all five fingers when they were cut off by a factory machine. Instead of compensating her for her lost ability to work and live a normal life, she was fired and received no money. She was not represented by a union or the government; there was no one to fight for her rights. When she returned to her village, she was ostracized due to her disfigurement and inability to work. In 2008, I went to a conference in Philippines and was surprised to learn that thousands of Indonesians workers die and tens of thousands are injured or sickened each year at work. I had no idea these numbers were so high. I thought if conditions are so bad in Indonesia, I must involve my own people and advocate for my own people. We have to try.
I worked with other labor advocates to form LION and became its first director in 2010. Since that time, we have made progress in building safety awareness in Indonesia, particularly in West Java. We developed train-the-trainer curriculum that teaches workers to recognize safety hazards, to understand chemical hazards, and to know safety is a right to be included in bargaining agreements.We have investigated asbestos exposures at asbestos processing factories and silica exposures in mines. We have advocated for accident victims at garment factories. We were integral to the formation of the Indonesia Asia Ban Asbestos Network (INA-ABAN) in 2010.
We have so much more work to do. I hope some day that LION can make all people in Indonesia aware of workplace hazards. One of my obsessions is to see the first court case where an employee injury or death is shown to be caused by workplace conditions and the victim or their families get compensated for the loss. Then I want the government and people of Indonesia to acknowledge that workplaces can kill or hurt workers and take action to truly enforce OSH regulations. My dream is that LION can be a resource for worker and unions regarding OSH rights and issues, but at the same time act as a bridge to all stakeholders (government, companies, unions, and workers) to achieve the ultimate goal of workplace safety for all in Indonesia.
The following methods are used to publicize LION’s work and OSH issues:
- Information tables and signage at public events, such as car free days, are used to publicize OSH issues. Volunteers and staff pass out brochures, stickers, etc to the public to educate them about hazardous materials, such as asbestos.
- The LION website publicizes our activities and is used to publish victims’ stories that increase the public’s awareness of OSH issues.
Currently LION is funded by private donations and from personal donations from Board Members. Annual operating budget is attached at end of organizational plan.
 “Occupational Safety and Health: Country Profiles”, International Labour Organization, 2006
 “Baseline Report: Worker Perspectives from the Factory and Beyond”, , International Labour Organization, 2012