RMG FACTORY INSPECTION

Govt selects 13 firms to conduct DEA

Staff Correspondent

The government has selected 13 firms to conduct required detailed engineering assessment in the readymade garment factories under the ongoing joint inspection programme of the government and the International Labour Organisation.
The selection came after factory owners had claimed that they failed to conduct DEA as they failed to reach appropriate firms.
Government officials said that the list of the engineering firms would be published on newspapers through advertisement as well as on the web site of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments.
‘Once the list is published, factory authorities will have to conduct DEA within the set timeframe, otherwise they will have to face tough action including closer of the factory,’ Syed Ahmed, inspector general of the DIFE, told New Age.
At a meeting on Thursday a taskforce formed to ensure post-inspection monitoring in the RMG factories finalised the list of the firms.
The taskforce includes representatives from the government, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and RAJUK.
On December 23 last year, the National Tripartite Committee formed two separate task forces with the aim of ensuring post-assessment monitoring of the ongoing government-ILO joint inspection programme in the RMG sector.
As per the decision of the NTC, one task force will monitor the post-inspection corrective action plan regarding structural integrity and another to monitor the corrective action plan regarding fire and electrical safety.
The task force set standards that a firm must have at least two structural engineers with 10-15 years of experience to be eligible to conduct DEA of the RMG factories and the firm will have experience of conducting at least two DEA in last three years.
After setting the standards the task force sought applications from the interested firms.
Syed said that they received applications from 22 engineering firms and selected 13 firms through proper verifications.
Following the Rana Plaza building collapse on April 24, 2013 that killed more than 1,100 people, the retailers and apparel brands from the EU and North America separately formed Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and Alliance for Bangladesh Workers Safety Initiative.
Both the initiatives announced inspection programmes and completed inspection in 2,200 garment factories that produce products for the EU and US buyers.
At the same time, the government of Bangladesh and the ILO started a three-and-a-half-year initiative to assess 1,500 factories that have been kept outside the surveys carried out by Accord and Alliance.
More than 700 factories have so far been assessed under the government-ILO programme and out of them 262 factories have been recommended to conduct DEA but most of them did not comply with the recommendation, an ILO source said.
The DIFE chief said that now (after the selection of the engineering firms) it would be easier for the government to put pressure on the factory owners to conduct the DEA timely.
Syed, also the chief of the taskforce, said that the DIFE started to collect information on the factories which had been recommended to conduct DEA but were yet to begin the process.

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