BANGLADESH: Accord publishes inspection reports
The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh has published factory inspection reports and film footage in a move it says is a commitment to be more transparent.
To date, around 800 inspections for fire, electrical and structural safety have been completed by the Accord.
Over a year on from the Rana Plaza disaster and the signing of the agreement, the Accord says it is keen to show the progress that has been made. As a result, it has disclosed the inspection reports and corrective action plans (CAPs) of 50 factories.
The Accord said it will continue to disclose all reports and CAPs in the coming weeks and months.
"The Accord inspections are identifying safety risks in all three areas, and corrective actions are already under way in many of the factories," said Brad Loewen, chief safety inspector.
"Typical findings include unsound electrical wiring, lack of automated smoke detectors and fire alarm systems; the need for fire protected exits and fire doors; failure to have proper load management plans and in some cases the need to strengthen columns and other structural elements."
During the course of the 800 factory inspections, Accord structural engineers have identified critical structural findings in 14 buildings. A 'critical findings' inspection is one where the safety findings are so bad that the engineers deem the factory unsafe for production and occupancy in its current state.
"In these cases, the efforts of the Accord focus on expediting the required remedial measures so the factory can be safely re-opened as quickly as possible and ensuring that workers' employment is maintained and their wages continue to be paid while remediation takes place," said Rob Wayss, executive director for Bangladesh operations.
A growing list of differences, however, appears to be breaking out between groups working to improve factory and building safety for garment workers in Bangladesh.
Issues centre on the review process required for partial or full suspension of production in garment factories where inspections have revealed serious safety concerns - and the payment of workers when this happens.
Local press reports suggest the Bangladeshi government has been refusing to shut down factories deemed unsafe by clothing brands and retailers who have signed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.
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