A total of 1,307 out of 1,624 Accord-listed readymade garment factories are behind the schedule in terms of fixing safety faults, a quarterly aggregate report of Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh showed.
According to the report of the platform of EU buyers and retailers, 62,329 safety faults (fire, electrical and structural) have been fixed in the factories up to October this year, which is 81 per cent of the total 87,431 faults identified during its initial inspection.
The report showed that the remediation progressed highest 91.5 per cent of identified electrical safety faults followed by fire safety faults 78.5 per cent.
According to the report, structural remediation scored lowest with 66.3 per cent progress.
The buyers’ platform said that remediation at 603 factories was close to completion and the units fixed more than 90 per cent of their safety faults.
It also said that some 107 factories had completed all remediation from initial inspections, out of which 25 factories remediated all the issues including the new findings.
The report said that the Accord had so far notified 595 suppliers due to inadequate remediation progress and out of which retailers terminated business relations with 83 suppliers.
The Accord completed initial fire, electrical and structural inspections at 1,100 factories in September 2014 and inspected an additional batch of 300 newly listed factories in 2015.
Since April, 2016, initial inspections at newly listed factories have been conducted on an ongoing basis, the report read.
During the initial inspections, Accord engineers found lockable/collapsible gates, storage blocking exits and inadequate egress lighting in almost 97 per cent of the factories and undocumented constructions and inconsistencies with the structural design drawings in more than 70 per cent of the factories.
The Accord said that the platform had commenced the safety committee and safety training programme at 839 factories employing more than 1.5 million workers.
The Accord training team conducted 1,754 safety committee training sessions at factories where the programme has been commenced and the full seven session training curriculum completed at 132 factories.
After the Rana Plaza building collapse in April 24, 2013, that killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garments workers, EU retailers formed the Accord undertaking a five-year plan, which set timeframes and accountability for inspections and training and workers empowerment programmes.
At the same time, North American brands and retailers formed Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and the platform inspected some 700 factories.
The five-year timeframe of Accord will end on May 31, 2018.
Following a meeting with commerce minister Tofail Ahmed on October 19, the Accord said that the government of Bangladesh had agreed that the platform would continue to operate in Bangladesh until a set of rigorous readiness conditions were met by local regulatory bodies.
The Alliance informed the government of Bangladesh that it would leave the country by its timeframe — July, 2018.
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