A milestone has been reached in the work of creating a safe and sustainable garment industry in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Accord today announced that the inspections of Accord producing factories have been completed within the agreed timeline of end September 2014.
From the initial inspections of 1,106 garment factories in Bangladesh, the Accord’s inspectors have identified more than 80,000 safety issues needing to be resolved.
“We have found safety hazards in all factories, which was to be expected. The safety findings have ranged from minor to significant. The Accord team is now working intensively with factory owners, brands, and labour colleagues to ensure the safety findings are corrected,” Brad Loewen, the Accord’s Chief Safety Inspector said in a statement.
Issues range from corrective measures like reducing weight loads and adhering to load management plans, to more substantial safety requirements. These include installing fire doors and automated fire alarm systems, establishing fire protected exits from factory buildings, and strengthening of columns in the buildings, have also been identified.
In 17 building inspections, the Accord inspections found that the structural integrity of the building fell below an acceptable level of safety. This led the Accord to submit its inspection results to the Government of Bangladesh’ Review Panel and recommend a temporary evacuation of the building.
IndustriALL Global Union general secretary Jyrki Raina welcomes the completion of the initial inspections:
Thanks to the inspections the repair work has already started – the journey towards a safe and sustainable garment industry in Bangladesh is well and truly under way. We will continue to organise the factories to build strong unions capable of securing workers’ rights.
The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh came into being after the tragedy at Rana Plaza in April 2013. Pioneered by IndustriALL and UNI Global Union it covers garment factories and is signed by companies who source from them in Bangladesh. The signatory brands have committed to support the Bangladeshi garment sector with continued sourcing commitments and support for remediation where needed