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Alliance to focus on critical safety repairs
10
Oct '16
Courtesy: Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety
Courtesy: Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety
As it enters fourth year, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) will focus on critical safety repairs and establishment of worker safety committees. The Alliance has completed 55 per cent of high-priority repairs and 63 per cent of all required repairs in its affiliated RMG factories, the organisation said in its third Annual Report.

The report, issued as part of the Alliance's ongoing commitment to enforcing a culture of safety in its Bangladesh garment factories, shows significant progress toward its goal of leaving the industry substantially safer as a result of the initiative.

The Alliance is working with factories to prioritise the most critical repairs—those that are most important for life safety, yet often the most costly and time-consuming for factories to achieve—including the import and installation of fire doors, the reinforcement of structural beams and columns, and the installation of sprinkler systems. To date, 55 percent of these high-priority repairs have been completed, the organisation said.

“By July 2018, all Alliance factories will have either completed their high-priority repairs or have been suspended from the Alliance's list of suppliers,” said Ellen Tauscher, independent chair of the Alliance. “Progress toward this goal has been significant, and achieving closure on the remaining issues most critical to life safety remains our primary focus.”

The Alliance is also ramping up its programme, launched in April this year, to establish Worker Safety Committees—groups of workers trained and empowered to monitor on-site occupational safety and health issues. The number of committees has tripled from 16 to 54 since April, and committees will be operational in a majority of Alliance factories by July 2018.

“Achieving safety in factories is about more than completing repairs. It must be accompanied by comprehensive efforts to inform, engage and empower the women and men who earn their living in garment factories,” said Alliance country director James F Moriarty. “By approaching remediation and empowerment hand-in-hand, we are working to set the gold standard for garment factories throughout Bangladesh.”

According to the Alliance report, 40 factories have achieved substantial completion of their Corrective Action Plans (CAPs), and more than 1.2 million workers have been trained in basic fire safety, with nearly 800,000 receiving the interactive refresher course. (RKS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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