FE Today Logo

Over 340 apparel units fail to fix safety flaws

Monira Munni | September 11, 2018 00:00:00

A total of 344 garment factories have faced the music due to their failure to fix the safety flaws identified in their initial inspection, people familiar with the matter said.

Some 2200 units were inspected by the western retailers' platforms, including the Alliance.

"Five factories were suspended in August, which brings the total number of factories suspended to 173," the Alliance said in a statement.

This is the first time since March that the Alliance has suspended factories that did not make adequate progress, it added.

Accord has so far terminated business relations with 171 of its listed suppliers due to non-compliance of post-inspection remedial work, according to its quarterly report until last April.

On the other hand, some 542 units have so far completely fixed the identified safety hazards, the people said.

Engineers of Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety have inspected some 600 units and 400 out of them have been fully remediated. The number is 142 for the factories under Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

Accord and Alliance were formed to improve the workplace safety situation in the country's readymade garment (RMG) sector immediately after the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed more than 1,100 workers on April 24, 2013.

"We are pleased to report that remediation of Alliance factories continues at a rapid pace," said Alliance Executive Director Jim Moriarty.

"We are confident that the vast majority of factories operating under the Alliance that supply our member companies will be in excellent shape and will function fully in accordance with our rigorous safety standards at the time of our transition at the end of this calendar year," he added.

"This milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in the remediation process, from the engineers and inspectors who have guided the process, to the factory owners, managers and workers who have made safety a priority within their factories," said Alliance Chief Safety Officer Paul Rigby.

"These factories now meet international standards of safety, something for which they should all be proud," he added.

"A total of 142 factories have completed all remediation from the initial inspection, out of which 14 factories have remediated all the issues, including the new findings," according to Accord quarterly report.

Remediation is close to completion in 767 factories under Accord, which have completed more than 90 per cent of their remediation, it added.

Accord, a platform of more than 220 global brands, buyers and trade unions mostly based in European Union (EU), reported 84 per cent overall remediation progress till April 01.

To date, 91 per cent of factory remediation is complete across all Alliance factories, it said.

When asked, Mohammad Hatem vice president of the Exporters Association of Bangladesh, said, "We are not fully agreed with the decisions of Accord related to business termination."

Citing the Smart Group issue, he said it proved that injustice was there in Accord's decision.

He, however, could not mention the present situation of the terminated factories, saying the government led Review Panel was informed in case of immediate closure of any factory.


Share if you like