Apple has been praised for a raft of improvements in working conditions, benefits and safety offered to workers at its supplier Foxconn in China, after an in-depth audit by the Fair Labor Association (FLA).
Foxconn and Apple have come in for strong criticism in the past due to the poor working conditions at the factories that build the iPhones and iPads sold in their millions, with suicides by workers at the factories triggering headlines across the world.
In response, Apple's chief executive Tim Cook said the firm would look to improve the conditions for workers at Foxconn, and commissioned the FLA to assess the changes that needed to be made earlier this year.
The report by the organisation examined a host of issues at factories during February and March, and found more than 300 issues that needed addressing.
Investigators from the FLA then visited factories in China during a two-week period in late June and early July and found that 195 actions had been addressed on time, while another 89 had been completed ahead of schedule.
These related to issues such as working hours, which have now been reduced to under 60 hours a week, with the aim of reducing it to 40, plus overtime, in due course, an area that Auret van Heerden, chief executive of the FLA, said was a vital next step.
"The next phase of improvements will be challenging for Foxconn because they involve major changes in the working environment that will inevitably cause uncertainty and anxiety among workers," he said.
The firm is now also carrying out tests on safety equipment to ensure it remains fit for purpose, offering breaks for workers to avoid repetitive strain injuries, and offering health and safety training for all employees.
"Our verification shows that the necessary changes, including immediate health and safety measures, have been made," said van Heerden.
"We are satisfied that Apple has done its due diligence thus far to hold Foxconn accountable for complying with the action plan, including the commitment to reform its internship program."
However, there is still more to be done, with 76 points raised by the FLA still to be tackled, relating to further issues around health and safety and environmental improvements that the FLA will monitor over the coming months.
V3 contacted Apple for comment on the report but had received no reply at the time of publication.
Delays to the roll-out of age verification for adult websites hasn't stopped government from considering extending them to more websites
Bluehole confirms rumours that Playstation 4 port is coming on 7 December
Atmospheric iodine works as a significant sink of tropospheric ozone, nullifying the harmful pollutant
A temperature rise of just 1.8° C would melt major ice sheets