Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a platform of European brands and buyers, has found safety faults in all the readymade garment factory boilers it inspected recently under a pilot programme in Bangladesh.
Under the programme, the platform inspected 35 boilers of 17 Accord-covered RMG factories and found faults in all the boilers, the platform said in a statement.
According to the summery of findings, 19 of the 35 inspected boilers could not undergo all stages of inspection as the boiler equipment at the factories was inadequate or defective.
A complete boiler safety inspection includes an internal inspection of the boiler, a hydrostatic pressure test, and an external inspection and assessment of the functionality of the boiler.
‘These 19 boilers, representing 54 per cent of those inspected, require remediation work and re-inspection and testing. Defects were detected in all 35 inspected boilers and all required remedial work,’ the report said.
As per the findings, four factories required immediate boiler shutdown due to critical safety findings and the Accord informed the factory management, responsible company signatories and Bangladesh Chief Inspector of Boilers about the findings.
All factories where critical boiler safety hazards were found complied with the engineers’ conclusions and the boilers have been repaired and verified as such within a few days of the notification of critical findings.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Siddiqur Rahman on Monday told New Age that an Accord team came to BGMEA to discuss the boiler inspection.
‘I told them [the team] that the Accord was not supposed to work on the boiler issue as there is a separate boiler inspection department of the government,’ he said.
Siddiq said he would not make any further comment on the inspection.
‘Their [Accord] steering committee will come to us for a meeting. We will discuss the issue with them,’ he said.
A group of five Accord engineers were trained by international boiler inspectors from TUV-SUD (Germany) during the inspections as part of an Accord engineers’ training programme, said the Accord.
The boilers selected for inspection are a representative sample of the different sizes, fuel supply, types and capacities of boilers used in RMG factories in Bangladesh, it said.
The inspection identified calcium build-up, which reduces the capacity of the boiler and it can corrode the boiler wall, reduce efficiency, and lead to leakage and spray of boiling water.
The inspection also found boiler components/parts missing such as no or inadequate pressure valves, no or inadequate pressure monitoring systems, faulty electrical wiring and incomplete or non-existent technical data sheets.
The report said that five boilers did not have the required certification of Bangladesh Chief Inspector of Boilers (CIoB) and they had been produced by an uncertified manufacturer.
Boilers that had not been produced, installed and maintained following international and Bangladesh CIoB boiler standards constitute a potential life and property threat hazard, the report said.
‘The Accord has been working constructively with the Chief Inspector of Boilers (CIoB), whose input informed the commencement of the pilot boiler safety inspections. The Accord signatories are committed to continuously supporting the work of CIoB and to also working with the National Plan of Action and the ILO (International Labour Organisation) colleagues to advance boiler safety in RMG factories,’ the platform said in the statement.
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