Experts from the UK will fly to Bangladesh this weekend to help the country address the urgent need for improving safety and building standards in the country’s garment sector, UK Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening has announced.
A team of three UK experts, two from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and one from the Better Regulation Delivery Office, will be visiting Bangladesh to help the country's building regulations agency tackle weaknesses in the industrial building inspections regime.
The UK team will examine building standards legislation, and toughen them up to prevent people from dying in accidents. It will also scrutinize the current inspections regimes for existing and new garment factories, and strengthen legislation enforcement.
The team will also look at how the UK can help to better enforce building standards, including in collaboration with private sector and International Labour Organisation (ILO) initiatives.
The subsequent recommendations made by the team will help to protect workers by ensuring that building standards and safety measures are properly enforced, as well as by making it easier for businesses to comply with their legal obligations.
“The tragic factory collapse in Bangladesh in April was a wake-up call about the appalling conditions that workers in the developing world endure to produce cheap clothes,” Ms. Greening said in a press release.
“British retailers and industry bodies like the Ethical Trading Initiative are already working with DFID to play their part in improving safety for workers. Now we are sending out three UK experts to share their wealth of experience in safe and effective building regulation to help prevent future tragedies and save lives,” she added.
In April this year, the collapse of the Rana Plaza building that housed five garment factories resulted in the death of more than 1,100 people in Savar near Dhaka.