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Accord takes stock of fire safety in B'desh factories
Apr '16
The Accord, an independent, legally binding agreement between brands and trade unions designed to work towards a safe and healthy Bangladeshi RMG industry, has said that all factories listed with it have been inspected.

In a statement on the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy, the Accord said more than 50 per cent of all safety hazards identified in its initial inspections have been corrected, and seven factories have remediated all items from the initial inspections. To date, 23 factories that have been unwilling to correct safety hazards have become ineligible to do business with Accord signatory companies.

Labour-management safety committees are being trained and supported to have factory level mechanisms in place to monitor safety on a day-to-day basis.

The Accord said it will continue its earnest and tireless efforts in these areas so that all inspected factories are remediated and that workers and managers work together to ensure the ongoing safety of their factories. “This work is unfinished. The memory of the Rana Plaza tragedy and victims serve as constant reminder and motivation to all of us that we must succeed in these efforts.” It said.

The Accord Steering Committee is now in Dhaka for its quarterly meeting and to hold discussions and consultations with in-country constituents including the Bangladesh Ministry of Labour, BGMEA, trade unions, the ILO, the Accord Advisory Board, and bi-lateral country missions supporting compliance and sustainability in the Bangladesh RMG sector.

Meanwhile, Swedish retail clothing giant H&M which sources many of its products from Bangladesh and is a member of Accord, said all factories producing for it should be safe and all workers should feel safe at their everyday workplace.

In general, there is a need of improving fire and safety in Bangladesh – a country where poor electrical installations and bad maintenance is common, H&M said in a statement. As a consequence, the textile industry in Bangladesh is today experiencing a substantial transformation when it comes to fire safety and is now converting into Western safety standards.

“This is a huge and complex work, but extremely important. It requires specialist knowledge, availability of international safety equipment and the necessary technical know-how. It is of utmost importance that all measures taken are according to the quality standards agreed in the industry,” it said.

“Our signing of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh was a complement to the work we started several years ago, and a great way forward as we want to involve a wide range of actors pushing for change in the entire textile industry in Bangladesh, not only the factories producing for H&M,” it continued.

H&M said it is working jointly to improve the situation of around 1,600 factories in Bangladesh of which around 250 produce for the company.

To speed up the remediation, H&M is working closely with IndustriALL to use their combined leverage where needed. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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