Monthly Update April 2015

Bangladesh Accord newsletter for signatories, factories and other parties interested in the Accord’s factory safety programme.

Inspections
Initial inspections new factories: Since the beginning of 2015 we have conducted initial inspections for fire, electrical and structural safety at over 150 recently listed factories. Factories are only inspected by the Accord if listed by an Accord signatory company.

Total factories inspected: More than 1250 factories have now been inspected by the Accord. The Accord is also sharing inspection reports with the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety to avoid duplication of inspection of common factories. In the last weeks we began reaching out to Alliance-inspected factories and the Accord companies in those factories to ensure a Corrective Action Plan is in place. The Accord and Alliance are sharing reports from follow up inspections throughout the remediation process at joint factories.

Follow-up inspections: The Accord is continuing follow-up factory visits to monitor and verify corrective actions. 362 factories have had fire, electrical and structural follow-up inspections and their CAPs are being updated on the Accord Inspection Reports & CAPs page.

Remediation
The Accord has received 950 CAPs developed by factories with support from signatory companies and has posted over 500 online. CAPs will now be published online when the Accord Chief Safety Inspector (CSI) and his team of engineers have technically approved them. These CAPs will later be updated to indicate the financial plan for remediation is in place when the Accord receives this confirmation from the lead brand and factory.

We continue to develop our online Resource Centre. There is new Guidance for Detailed Engineering Assessments, as well as recently posted Fire Safety Manual and Electrical Single Line Diagram Guidance.

Regarding fire safety, our follow up inspections continue to find lockable gates that have not been removed and we will enforce this strictly. It is a serious safety concern and factories must find safer alternatives until certified fire doors are installed. Please discuss this with the Accord engineers if in any doubt as to how to remedy this.

Worker Participation
OSH Committee Pilot Programme: The Accord is inviting company and labour signatories to nominate factories to participate in this pilot programme. The pilot will include both factories with and without a registered trade union. Nominated factories will be advised in the coming weeks and the Accord and signatories will organise meetings at each factory to introduce the pilot plans to the management team.

Complaints Mechanism: The Accord has received complaints from workers at 25 factories related to safety issues. The Accord is working with the signatory companies, factory owners, complainant workers and unions to obtain details and clarification on the complaint allegations and status of the inspected factory.

A previously submitted complaint related to alleged reprisal of workers who met with Accord supported Field Resource Persons to discuss and obtain copies of the Accord inspection reports is in process of resolution. It is expected that the complainant workers, who were terminated from their employment, will be reinstated.

Stakeholder Engagement
6th March – The Accord met KfW, the German government-owned development bank, to discuss a potential loan fund for remediation.

10th & 11th March – International G7 Stakeholder Conference (Berlin) on promoting decent work worldwide through sustainable supply chains where Accord spoke on how our experience can potentially inform the proposed global OSH “fund”.

17th March – The Accord met with Danish Parliamentary Delegation on progress in RMG over the course of 2014.

19th March – Our Chief Safety Inspector gave a speech at the Danish Government program on RMG sector progress and challenges.

Throughout March we had regular meetings with ILO Bangladesh and international staff on RMG OSH program issues, practical support for the National Effort and coordination on OSH committees work.

25th March – The Accord participated in a meeting of the Dutch Working Group on Health and Safety as part of the National Action Plan of the Dutch textile sector.

2nd April – The Accord met with ETI-Norway on their “social dialogue” program.

Governance
The next Steering Committee meeting is on 21st and 22nd April and the minutes will be published 2 weeks after.

The most recent Advisory Board meeting was on 15th April 2015 and a meeting report will be available shortly.

Communication
The Accord has published an overview of factories covered by the Accord that were submitted to the Government of Bangladesh Review Panel, based on the engineers’ determinations that a building evacuation or suspension to operations is required. The overview is available at: http://bangladeshaccord.org/factories/review-panel-cases/

Upcoming Events
The company signatories are invited to the next caucus meeting with their Steering Committee representatives on 30th June & 1st July in Amsterdam.

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