Accord seeks quick remediation of Bangladeshi factories
On its third anniversary on Sunday, the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh said factories are becoming much safer but remediation now needs to be completed without further delay.
The Accord marked its third anniversary with key priorities of completing remediation and ramping up safety committee and safety training at listed suppliers.
Three years ago on May 15, 2013, global garment brands and retailers and 2 global unions and their national RMG affiliates signed an unprecedented agreement to make garment factories safe in Bangladesh. With more than 210 company signatories and approximately 1600 factories covered by the agreement, the Accord is embarked on a large scale effort to complete remediation of major safety risks at all inspected factories and to roll-out safety committee and safety training at an expanded number of covered factories.
Since November 2013, 1550 factories covered under the Accord have been inspected for fire, electrical and structural safety. An additional 75 newly listed factories are included in the current, ongoing round of initial inspections. Approximately 60 per cent of the safety hazards identified through the initial inspections have now been reported or verified as repaired. This is a significant accomplishment and factories are becoming much safer but remediation now needs to be completed without further delay, Accord said in a press release.
Accord Chief Safety Inspector, Brad Loewen, who is leading the effort to make this happen said, “The Accord's intensive and sustained programme of supporting remediation and escalating cases where progress is too slow is working. The Accord is committing an enormous amount of time, staff, and resource to making sure remediation is completed and completed in a timely manner”.
A functioning and capable labour-management safety committee at the factory level is an important piece to monitoring and maintaining safety compliance. After a successful pilot safety committee training program at approximately 65 Accord-listed supplier factories with a registered trade union, the Accord will now implement the safety committee element of the Accord on a larger scale at covered factories.
“The pilot work done thus far makes us optimistic that safety committees will be developed which will be capable of and permitted to perform their safety maintenance, monitoring, and educational functions” said Rob Wayss, Accord Executive Director. “The training materials, methods, and delivery systems have been well-received, are practical and relevant, and can be implemented on a large scale basis” he added.
The Accord continues its intensive work with the national social partners and support for the National Plan of Action. “We shall continue to share our experience and expertise so that that the national partners can better meet their respective obligations in respecting and enforcing safety compliance in the RMG sector,” it said in the release. (SH)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India