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NFPA releases B'desh RMG fire safety review report
30
Mar '16
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has released the Bangladesh Readymade Garment (RMG) Industry High-Level Assessment Report, an appraisal and gap analysis of Bangladesh fire and building safety standards, protocols, inspection procedures and training programmes.

The final report includes short-term and long-term recommendations that provide a road map for sustainable electrical, fire and life safety in RMG manufacturing facilities in Bangladesh.

“The Bangladesh national government must continue to grow into their responsibility. Meeting this responsibility could be achieved at the national or the regional level, as long as consistent levels of safety are provided throughout the country,” the report said.

NFPA and the University of Maryland were invited by the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (the Alliance) to provide an independent review of their factory upgrade programme designed to improve worker safety. The Alliance, made up of 28 North American brands and retailers, was organized in 2013 as a 5-year initiative to improve safety and empower workers in the Bangladesh factories from which they source.

The Alliance identified a sample of 14 factories currently undergoing remediation in the Dhaka region of Bangladesh, and arranged for the project team to visit the sites, observe building operations and interview key stakeholders in the building industry. Based on these activities, NFPA made recommendations and suggested processes for the Alliance, government officials and other stakeholders to explore or undertake in an effort to institutionalize sustainable worker safety enforcement programs and infrastructure; factory fire, electrical and life safety best practices; and training for ongoing worker safety initiatives in Bangladesh.

“The Alliance has been working hard to meet its goal to create a safe environment for workers in Bangladesh's factories, and its results-oriented process has helped make progress within the industry,” said Don Bliss, NFPA’s vice president of Field Operations. "Their work clearly aligns with our global mission of helping to save lives and eliminate loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards.”

The report outlines short-term recommendations to further improve the fire safety of the RMG factories in Bangladesh, including measures that the Alliance has already begun to implement, such as increasing the capacity to review remediation plans and expanding training programs. The report also provides long-term recommendations for the Bangladeshi government and other stakeholders related to capacity buildings and inspections.

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