Cornell University has become the latest higher education establishment to require apparel licensees sourcing from Bangladesh to join the country’s Accord on Fire and Building Safety.

Cornell is a member of the Worker Rights Consortium, a witness signatory to the Accord, a legally binding, five-year agreement between manufacturers and trade unions designed to improve working conditions for Bangladeshi garment workers.

Drawn up in the wake of the Tazreen and Rana Plaza disasters, it has been signed by more than 150 apparel companies and retailers in 21 countries.

“Cornell is taking this step to ensure that workers who make Cornell logo apparel do not have to work in buildings that are structurally unsound, lack proper fire safety measures, or both,” said Cornell President David Skorton.

“We believe the Accord is a fair, transparent and unbiased approach to factory inspection and remediation.

“It is clear that the inspection practices that have been in place for years have not been effective in preventing these types of tragedies.”

Cornell said five of its 18 licensees who were currently sourcing goods from Bangladesh were already signatories, including Adidas and Russell Athletic owner Fruit of the Loom.

Companies which had not signed had been informed of the university’s new requirement, it added.

Cornell is the sixth US university to add the Accord to its licensing requirements, following Duke, NYU, Penn, Temple and Penn State.