Accord Disclosure on Refusal to Temporarily Evacuate Factory

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is conducting independent, engineering inspections for fire, electrical, and building structural safety at all factories in Bangladesh producing for Accord signatory brands and retailers.

At a recent inspection of M/S Mega Chois Knitwear Ltd. (118 Baipail, Mosjid Bus Stand, Ashulia, Dhaka), Accord engineers identified extremely serious fire safety concerns. The safety concerns were of such an extent that the building was determined unsafe for production and occupancy until such time that urgent remedial measures were completed.

The fire safety issues include:

  • the factory has only one exit location for over 600 employees which creates an extremely unsafe situation;
  • there is a daycare and dining area on the 6th floor of the building;
  • the one exit stair is not fire separated from the rest of the building.

On 17 February 2015, the Accord Chief Safety Inspector (CSI) determined that the building needed to be immediately evacuated and not re-occupied until such time as proper exiting is established. The Accord CSI then informed the factory owner, relevant Accord brands, IndustriAll RMG federations, and the Ministry of Labour Inspector General (IG).

Accord brands listing the factory as a supplier communicated to the Mega Chois owner that production of their brand’s product must be suspended and the building must be temporarily evacuated while urgent remediation took place. The IG subsequently on 25 February 2015 issued an order of evacuation of the Mega Chois factory building.

Despite being repeatedly informed of the serious safety findings and the need for the building to be evacuated until proper fire exiting is installed, the factory owner refuses to evacuate the building. At time of this writing, the Accord has confirmed that the factory remains open, with production, and with workers in the building.

The Accord is compelled to disclose this information publicly. M/S Mega Chois Knitwear Ltd. accordingly is considered a non-compliant supplier and ineligible to produce for any Accord signatory companies.

The Accord shall continue our work with the relevant Accord companies, Accord labour signatories, and the MoLE Inspector General to carry out the temporary evacuation requirement. The Accord shall also work with the respective parties to ensure that the provisions of Accord are followed as they relate to the affected workers.

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