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Global apparel brands beeline to sign fire safety accord
May '13
Several global apparel brands, including H&M, Inditex, PVH, Tesco and C&A, have committed in a drive to improve working conditions in Bangladesh readymade garments factories by signing an accord on Fire and Building Safety with a group of non-governmental organizations consisting of Clean Clothes Campaign, Worker Rights Consortium, The International Labor Rights Forum and Maquila Solidarity Network as well as a group of eight international and Bangladeshi trade unions. 
The Fire and Building Safety Accord which aims to develop safe and sustainable clothing industry in Bangladesh was established in view of the recent incidents in Bangladesh, such as last week’s fire at a readymade garment (RMG) manufacturing factory in Mirpur near Dhaka, the Savar building collapse and Tarzeen factory fire accident, which have together killed more than 1100 people. 
H&M and Inditex were the first global brands to commit a binding agreement on building and fire safety in Bangladesh followed by PVH, Tesco and C&A.
“For many years, H&M has taken the lead to improve and secure the safety of the workers in the Bangladesh garment industry. Fire and building safety are extremely important issues for us and we put a lot of effort and resources within this area,” MS. Helena Helmersson, Head of Sustainability H&M, said in a statement.
Mr. Kevin Grace, commercial director of Tesco Group, told fibre2fashion, "We are supporting the multi-stakeholder Accord on Fire and Building Safety, which aims to ensure good practice in more than 5000 apparel factories in Bangladesh. This Accord will be developed into a strong program with other leading retailers and global unions, with coordination from the UN International Labor Organization."
According to PVH, the fire and building safety program will establish an in-factory training program; facilitate the creation of factory health and safety committees; review existing building regulations and enforcement; develop a worker complaint process and mechanism for workers to report health and safety risks; and advise a lead Safety Inspector.
While, the spokesperson of C&A said in a statement sent to fibre2fashion, “The Fire and Building Safety Agreement is the next milestone in a series of contributions C&A has made to sustainably improve working conditions and fire safety in Bangladesh after the fire tragedy in Tazreen in November 2012."

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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