Ethically Sourced Indian Sandstone Paving

London Stone have been corporate members of the ETI for over 3 years.  By joining the ETI we commit to implementing the ETI's 9 point base code.  There is a perception amongst the general public in Great Britain that the production of Indian Sandstone Paving is unethical, that child labour is used, that staff are paid very low wages and that the conditions for workers are dangerous.  About 30% of the natural stone paving supplied by London Stone comes from India.  London Stone have been importing natural stone from India for the past 5 years and we have seen massive changes and improvements in the working conditions in the factories in India.  One of the key factors which has driven change is the mechanisation of the Indian Sandstone industry.  The majority of sandstone imported from India is now calibrated and Sawn Paving is becoming more and more popular.  The use of machinery is improving the safety standards of factories and is also improving the workers awareness of their own health & safety.  Go back 5 years and PPE in India was unheard of.  Visit Indian factories now and as well as seeing piles of Sandstone Paving you will also see workers wearing safety boots and high visibility clothing.  Were not saying the situation over in India is perfect but things are finally beginning to move in the right direction.  When I speak to my suppliers in India about PPE, the biggest problem they are facing is trying to convince the older staff to wear PPE.  Its a massive culture change for these older stone masons who have got by for years not wearing PPE.  The encouraging thing to see when visiting the stone yards in India is that the majority of the younger stone masons are wearing the PPE, this bodes well for the future of the industry.

By London Stone Blog | Published 9th May 2012
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