Accord Announces Stephen Quinn as Chief Safety Inspector

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen Quinn as Chief Safety Inspector (CSI). Stephen brings a wealth of applicable experience to the CSI post from his previous work with Lands Sterling in UAE and with various governmental building authorities in Scotland. His extensive work in building pathology, fire safety, structural analysis, and regulatory compliance is a strong match for the demands of the CSI position.

Stephen joins the Accord at an important time as we embark on the implementation of the 2018 Transition Accord. His focus in the CSI post will be to lead the Accord engineering team, to lead the completion of remediation at all Accord covered factories, to further develop adherence to safety standards in the RMG industry, and to support the technical capacity development of the National Plan of Action Remediation Coordination Cell.

Mr. Quinn will commence his assignment with the Accord on 10 June 2018 and will be based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Accord Remediation Fund provides financial support to five RMG factories


Safety remediation at five Ready-Made Garment factories in Bangladesh will be completed with financial support made available through the Accord Inactive Factory Remediation Fund

 

15th May, 2018

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety today approved two additional applications from Accord-covered factories to receive financial support for remediation through the Accord Inactive Factory Remediation Fund, adding up to a total of five factories.
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Statement issued by the Steering Committee of the Accord 

The Steering Committee of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh issued the following statement:
 
Five years ago on 15 May 2013, a group of global brands and retailers and 2 global unions and their national trade union affiliates signed an unprecedented agreement to make garment factories in Bangladesh safe. Since then, the Accord was signed by 220 brands, retailers, importers and agents from all over the world including Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. These 220 brands and retailers, by signing the Accord, demonstrated their commitment to continue sourcing from Bangladesh and contributing to a safe and sustainable Ready-Made Garment (RMG) industry in Bangladesh.

The Accord recognizes the extraordinary progress that has been made over the last five years to improve fire and building safety in the Bangladeshi RMG industry. The overall progress rate of remediation at the 1620 Accord-covered factories is 85%. The Accord has engaged with 2.4 million worker participants to share vital safety information in more than 1,000 factories. As a result of these efforts, millions of workers now work in safer factories. Bangladesh’s garment factories also benefit materially, because buyers recognize that a factory that has completed its safety work presents far fewer risks for them.

Credit for these efforts is shared and includes the many factory owners who have cooperated with the Accord to undertake the necessary safety renovations. Crucial to the success of the Accord has been its unique features: the labor-corporate partnership that is at the heart of the agreement, the Accord’s recognition of the need to ensure that factory owners are able to afford the cost of safety improvements, and the binding nature of the agreement. The Accord continues to be a unique opportunity for factory management, workers and their trade unions, global brands and global unions to combine their forces and thus remedy the systemic problem of building and fire safety deficits that has plagued the Bangladeshi garment industry.

At the same time, we recognise that the remediation work has not been completed. Important steps still need to be taken to achieve full remediation and acceptable workplace safety. Life-threatening safety hazards such as inadequate fire exits, fire alarms and fire protection systems are still present in hundreds of factories, and the remediation rate remains at 85%.

Fire and building safety involves not just the renovations to make factories safe, but also ongoing vigilance to keep them safe. Rigorous and ongoing factory inspections are essential to maintaining that vigilance. As of today, there is not yet a fully resourced national regulatory body in place to take over this work. Therefore, the Accord signatories took the decision to sign the 2018 Transition Accord to ensure this vital safety work continues.

This week, the Government of Bangladesh confirmed it will extend the permission of the Accord to work beyond May 2018. A joint “Transition Monitoring Committee” (TMC) has been established by the Government for the purpose of determining when the agreed conditions for a handover of the Accord work to a fully-functional and competent national regulatory body have been met.

The TMC, which is comprised of Accord brands, global trade unions, BGMEA, ILO and the Bangladesh government, met on May 6, 2018 and determined that the criteria agreed by the Accord and the BGMEA and recognized by the Government of Bangladesh have not yet been met.

These criteria include: demonstrated proficiency in inspection capacity, remediation of hazards, enforcement of the law against non-compliant factories, full transparency of governance and remediation progress, and investigation and fair resolution of workers’ safety complaints.

The Accord is pleased that the BGMEA supports the start of the 2018 Transition Accord on the 1st of June and to continue until these criteria are met.

 

Download the statement in PDF format here.
For more information, please contact:

Joris Oldenziel

Deputy Director for Implementation

joris.oldenziel@bangladeshaccord.com
+31 614 95 44 30

Michael Bride

Deputy Director for Workplace Programs and Bangladesh Stakeholder Engagement

michael.bride@bangladeshaccord.com 

+880 170 964 1060 / +1 202 531 5669

www.bangladeshaccord.org
media@bangladeshaccord.com

April Quarterly Aggregate Report

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is committed to transparency and public accountability. As part of this commitment, the Accord publishes Quarterly Aggregate Reports showing the remediation progress across different safety issues identified at Accord-covered RMG factories in Bangladesh and the progress of the Accord’s workplace programs.

See here the April issue – Statistics as of April 1st, 2018

Vacancy: Head of Signatory Engagement (maternity cover)

About The Bangladesh Accord
The aim of the Bangladesh Accord is to make the Ready-made garments sector in Bangladesh safe and sustainable, where no worker needs to fear fires, building collapses or other accidents that could be prevented with reasonable safety and health measures.

The Accord was established in 2013 as an independent, legally binding agreement between apparel brands and retailers and trade unions. It was formed in the immediate aftermath of the Rana Plaza building collapse that led to the death of more than 1100 people and injured more than 2000. The agreement was renewed in June 2017 with a successor agreement known as the Transition Accord. The Transition Accord will enter into effect in May 2018 and is set to expire on 31 May 2021, unless a joint monitoring committee (comprised of Accord company signatories, Accord trade union signatories, BGMEA, ILO and the Bangladesh government) unanimously agrees that a set of rigorous conditions for a handover to a national regulatory body have been met prior to 31 May 2021.

This maternity cover position of Head of Signatory Engagement is a great opportunity to work closely with a wide network of signatories to implement the Accord.
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Vacancy: Operations Manager

About The Bangladesh Accord
The aim of the Bangladesh Accord is to make the Ready-made garments sector in Bangladesh safe and sustainable, where no worker needs to fear fires, building collapses or other accidents that could be prevented with reasonable safety and health measures.

The Accord was established in 2013 as an independent, legally binding agreement between apparel brands and retailers and trade unions. It was formed in the immediate aftermath of the Rana Plaza building collapse that led to the death of more than 1100 people and injured more than 2000. The agreement was renewed in June 2017 with a successor agreement known as the Transition Accord. The Transition Accord will enter into effect in May 2018 and is set to expire on 31 May 2021, unless a joint monitoring committee (comprised of Accord company signatories, Accord trade union signatories, BGMEA, ILO and the Bangladesh government) unanimously agrees that a set of rigorous conditions for a handover to a national regulatory body have been met prior to 31 May 2021.

This new position of Operations Manager is a great opportunity to join an unprecedented initiative and play a key role in shaping the systems which underpin effective Accord implementation.
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Advisory Board Meeting Report

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (Accord) held its thirteenth Advisory Board (AB) meeting on 23 January 2018 in Dhaka. Representatives from supplier factories, sourcing agents, the Ministry of Labour (DIFE), IndustriAll RMG trade union federations (IBC-RMG), BKMEA, Accord signatory brands, and Bangladesh NGOs/CSOs participated in the discussions. The ILO Skills 21 Project Chief Technical Advisor served as the neutral Chair of the meeting of the Accord Advisory Board.

You can download Advisory Board Meeting Report here

Remediation Progress Update

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh publishes report on progress as of 1 January 2018.

Safety remediation progress across 1,600 Accord covered RMG factories:
• 82% overall remediation progress
• 127 factories completed initial remediation
• >90% remediation at 699 factories

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Safety Committee Training Program Update

Dear all,

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is pleased to announce that the Safety Committee Training Program commenced at more than 840 Accord covered RMG factories. Functioning Safety Committees are key to ensuring that factories become – and stay – safe by conducting factory safety checks, responding to health and safety complaints, and getting information to workers on workplace safety.

Progress as of 1 December:
•844 factories participating in the Safety Committee Training Program
•805 All Employee Meetings, making for 1,820,771 worker contacts
•Safety Committee Training Curriculum completed at 169 factories

Highlights of the Safety Committee Training Program

Factory walk-throughs: enabling Safety Committee participation in inspections
Following their first Safety Monitoring training session, the factory Safety Committee together with the Accord trainer conduct a walk-through of the factory to identify actual or potential safety hazards, that are then reported to the Factory Management. Most of the issues found during these factory walk-throughs relate to inadequate use of machines, improper maintenance of fire and electrical equipment, obstacles on the work floor, or poor ventilation and lighting.

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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.
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