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'Transparent RMG factory inspection an absolute necessity'
Oct '14
Mr. Mesbah Rabin
Mr. Mesbah Rabin
“Inspections that are conducted regularly and shared transparently are absolutely essential to creating lasting factory safety reform,” says the head of Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, Dhaka.

Sharing his opinion on safety in Bangladesh apparel factories with fibre2fashion, Mesbah Rabin, MD at the Alliance adds, “Now more than ever, there is broad consensus and commitment to high-quality inspections among the government, garment industry, civil society and global brands that source from Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh Worker Safety Alliance is the result of an initiative by a few North American retailers and manufacturers in order to create a safe working environment for the ready-made garment workers of Bangladesh.

The Alliance has 26 renowned retailers in its fold like Carter's, The Children's Place, Costco Wholesale, Fruit of the Loom, Gap, Hudson's Bay Company, Intradeco Apparel, JC Penney, The Jones Group, Kohl's, Macy's, Nordstrom, Sears, Target, VF Corp and Wal-Mart Stores.

Informing about the success of its mission, Mesbah Rabin says, “During our first year of operation, the Alliance has made tremendous progress toward improving worker safety in Bangladesh's ready-made garment (RMG) factories.

“In July, we completed inspections in 100 percent of our 587 factories. We recommended 14 factories for full or partial closure, and 50 percent of our factories are now in remediation.

“The Alliance is the only organization providing compensation for workers displaced due to factory remediation efforts - including 50 percent of wages for up to four months, with the other 50 percent to be provided by the factory owner.”

Speaking on activities of the Alliance, Rabin informs, “We have delivered safety training to more than one million workers and managers and launched an anonymous helpline for workers to report safety concerns without fear of retaliation.

“We also successfully advocated with the government of Bangladesh to reduce tariffs on imports of fire safety equipment to make them more affordable for factory owners, and led development of the first-ever International Expo on Fire and Building Safety in Dhaka to connect factory owners with international experts and manufacturers of safety equipment.

“In September, we signed a MoU with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to empower Alliance Members, factories and workers with information, guidance and training resources that will help protect the health and safety of RMG workers.” (AR)

Click here to read the whole interview.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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