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Investments in health, safety and good working conditions at Vietnamese construction sites and in factories contribute to all bottom lines. This is the experience gained by Mascot International Vietnam A/S.

When, in May 2007, Mascot International Vietnam A/S starts building a 15,000 m2 factory in the Hai Duong province in Vietnam, the company takes its time to engage the best possible contractors. They decide to use four contractors who all sign a contract and thus undertake to comply with strict safety requirements and assume full responsibility for safety at the construction site. However, the safety requirements are not met.

Dangerous conditions bring construction to a stop

Managing Director Thomas Bo Pedersen is the head of Mascot International Vietnam A/S. When, on the first day of building, he arrives at the construction site, piling work has already begun. Thomas Bo Pedersen sees construction workers, barefoot and without safety helmets, operating very heavy machinery several metres above the ground. Bare high-voltage cables lie on the soaking wet ground of the construction site, and the workers are handling them with their bare hands. Thomas Bo Pedersen decides to bring building to a stop at once.

Collaboration on improvements at the construction site

Following the construction halt, Mascot makes it clear to the four contractors that significant improvements are required if the construction is to be completed as per the contract. Together with a Vietnamese Health and Safety Manager, Mascot implements an extensive safety programme at the construction site with special focus on training and sanctions. They introduce training of all construction workers, weekly follow-up courses, ongoing inspection throughout the construction site and simple and efficient sanctions – everything in collaboration with the contractors.

Nine months – no accidents

Initially, things go slow, but Mascot gradually develops trust-based collaboration on safety with the contractors, and in February 2008, the factory is ready.

– We spent less than 1 per cent of the construction sum on introducing proper safety standards. As a result, we completed the construction of the new factory without one single industrial injury. In Vietnam, this is unheard of, says Thomas Bo Pedersen.

A good investment

Mascot is in no doubt that the efforts are also an advantage in terms of business, and the company has also made investments in health and safety at its two new factories in Vietnam.

– I really do think that CSR is not a cost, but an investment. This investment in safety has been very good – also seen from a business perspective, says Thomas Bo Pedersen. He points to the fact that, for example, the company noted a productivity increase of approx. 20 per cent as a result of installing air-conditioning.

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Mascot International Vietnam A/S is set up.


The construction of the new factory in the Hai Duong province is started. The construction is put to a halt immediately due to poor safety conditions.


Mascot employs Royal Haskoning Vietnam to handle employee training and implementation of safety procedures at the workplace.


The new factory is completed in February 2008. Not one industrial injury has been recorded in connection with the construction.


Mascot’s internal safety organisation is in place.

Establishment of Trade Union Committee.


Mascot receives a special merit award from the Vietnamese Planning and Investment Ministry for being a pioneer within CSR and a role model to foreign investors.


Mascot International Vietnam A/S opens two more factories. Similarly, no industrial injuries are recorded in connection with these construction projects.


Mascot International Vietnam A/S receives SA 8000 certification.


Mascot is granted an award by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs for excellent implementation of labour market legislation.