Statement on Fire and Fatality at Plummy Fashions Ltd.

It is with great sadness that the Accord has learned that on 9 November 2017, a worker died after suffering extensive burns in a fire which occurred six days earlier at the Accord covered factory Plummy Fashions Ltd., located in North Norshingpur, Kashipur, Fatullah, Narayangonj.

The Accord expresses our deepest sympathies and condolences to the victim’s family. The Accord sent a fire engineer to the factory on 7 November to conduct a post-fire inspection.

On Friday, 3 November 2017, a fire broke out at Plummy Fashions Ltd. Factory management reported that the fire was caused by a short circuit in the control panel of a “soft setting calendar machine” (SSCM). An electrical trainee worker who was performing maintenance work on the SSCM at the time of the fire, suffered severe burns. The fire reportedly started at around 8:15 a.m. in the dyeing section of the factory building and was extinguished within 10 minutes with a CO2 fire extinguisher. The factory reported that as the fire occurred on the factory’s weekly holiday, there were no witnesses.

At the time of the Accord post-fire inspection, the components to the SSCM which had caught fire had reportedly been replaced in order to continue the maintenance work. Investigation of the machine’s inverter indicated that fire occurred in the panel of the SSCM.

The Accord has concluded that the fire is likely attributed to a defect/electrical problem with the machine which caught fire and not with the electrical system of the factory.

During the post-fire inspection, the Accord fire safety engineer found safety hazards that require urgent remediation. These hazards are described below:

1. Egress aisles must be immediately cleared of obstruction and storage.
2. The boiler & generator room must be separated by proper fire rated construction from the production areas and from each other.
3. A qualified electrical technician must check the SSCM for the electrical fault and must also check the electrical source to the machine for potential overload condition, earth fault, short circuit or other fault which might generate heat to cause ignition.

Accord engineers will follow up to ensure these urgent remedial measures are correctly completed.

A summary of safety remediation status of Plummy Fashions Ltd. at the time of the fire is provided below. Initial safety inspections were conducted at this factory in October 2015.

• Some electrical system design and earthing (grounding) related remediation was not yet completed.
• 4 of the 6 required fire doors had been installed.
• Required fire separation work was reported as completed on 2 November 2017 and pending verification by Accord engineers.
• The installation of the fire detection and alarm system was reported as completed on 2 November 2017 and pending verification by Accord engineers.
• Required additional structural analysis of the building (detailed engineering assessment- DEA) was conducted and accepted by the Accord on 19 October 2017. Accord on-site inspections showed some discrepancies which need to be corrected and are pending.

The Accord encourages all brands producing at Plummy Fashions Ltd., as well as the factory owner, to ensure that full and fair compensation is paid to the family of the worker who died, consistent with the standard established by the Rana Plaza Arrangement.

Download the statement here