Readymade garment factories inspected under the initiative of the European buyers and retailers registered only two per cent progress in safety hazard remediation works in the last one year.
According to the latest report published by the buyers’ platform, Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, the factories completed 91 per cent of the remediation works as on January 1, 2020, which was 89 per cent as on January 1, 2019.
The report published on January 27 showed that a total of 273 factories finished the initial remediation works while more than 90 per cent of the works were completed at 1,173 factories.
The Accord report said that a total of 1,101 factories remained behind the schedule in the remediation works for safety hazards.
The platform terminated business relations with 167 factories as the units failed to make the required progress in fixing life threatening safety hazards in time.
After the 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse, which killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, the EU retailers formed Accord under a five-year plan and set timeframes and accountability for inspections, training and workers’ empowerment programmes.
The platform conducted initial fire, electrical and structural assessment at more than 1,600 RMG factories from where the platform buyers procured their products.
At the same time, the North American brands and retailers formed Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety which inspected around 700 factories.
Alliance has already left the country after completing its task.
Although the five-year timeframe of Accord had expired, the court allowed the platform to continue operations in the country till May this year.
Following the initial inspections, the factories and Accord were tasked with developing a corrective action plan that would detail the remedial actions with concrete timelines for completion.
The Accord engineers conducted follow-up inspections to monitor the remediation works and verify that corrective actions had been completed as per plan.
Each factory was inspected approximately once every four months, the report said.
The report showed that 45 per cent of the factories still lacked adequate fire detection and alarm systems while installation of fire suppression systems remained pending at 54 per cent of the units.
The report also showed that there was a lack of design check against lateral load still at 13 per cent of the factories while inconsistency with building plan and drawings was found at 16 per cent of the factories.
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