Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh announces publication of factory inspection reports and presents filmed footage from Accord safety inspections
Just over one year ago in May 2013, ready-made garment (RMG) industry global brands and retailers and 2 global unions and their national RMG affiliates signed an unprecedented agreement to make RMG factories safe in Bangladesh. The Accord has made good progress since. More than 180 brands and retailers are now part of the Accord. More than 800 inspections for fire, electrical and structural safety have been completed. This week, the Accord has disclosed inspection reports and corrective action plans (CAPs) of 50 factories. The Accord will continue to disclose all reports and CAPs in the coming weeks and months.
To commemorate one year of the Accord and its implementation and to show its work in the first year, the Accord has invited a group of national and international journalists to accompany safety inspections at Accord producing factories. The journalists accompanied Accord inspectors at 4 inspections on 24 June 2014. Filmed footage and photographs from these inspections are being made available to all interested journalists.
“The filmed footage and photographs provide insight into the independent, engineering-based inspections and some of the typical fire, electrical and structural safety risks that will need to be remediated”, says Brad Loewen, Chief Safety Inspector of the Accord. “The Accord inspections are identifying safety risks in all three areas, and corrective actions are already under way in many of the factories”. Typical findings include unsound electrical wiring, lack of automated smoke detectors and fire alarm systems; the need for fire protected exits and fire doors; failure to have proper load management plans and in some cases the need to strengthen columns and other structural elements”.
During the course of the 800 factory inspections, Accord structural engineers have identified critical structural findings in 14 buildings. A “Critical findings” inspection is one where the safety findings are to an extent that the engineers deem the factory unsafe for production and occupancy in its current state. “In these cases, the efforts of the Accord focus on expediting the required remedial measures so the factory can be safely re-opened as quickly as possible and ensuring that workers’ employment is maintained and their wages continue to be paid while remediation takes place”, explains Rob Wayss, Executive Director Bangladesh Operations.
More than one year since the signing of the agreement, the Accord is proud to show what good and real progress has been made. “We welcome the growing commitment from global brands and retailers to supporting the remediation efforts in their RMG supply chains in Bangladesh”, says Alan Roberts, Executive Director International Operations.
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