A non-compliant apparel factory has been deemed ineligible to produce for any Accord signatory companies followings its refusal to temporarily suspend production to remedy safety concerns.

A recent inspection of M/S Mega Chois Knitwear by engineers of The Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety identified “extremely serious fire safety concerns”. These included having only one exit location for over 600 employees, a daycare and dining area on the 6th floor, and the one exit stair not being fire separated from the rest of the building.

The Accord said the concerns were of such an extent, the building was determined unsafe for production and occupancy until urgent remedial measures were completed.

On 17 February, the inspector determined the building needed to be evacuated for remedial action to take place, following which, the factory owner was informed, as were relevant Accord brands, IndustriAll RMG federations, and the Ministry of Labour Inspector General (IG). An order of evacuation was issued on 25 February.

However, the Accord has said that despite being repeatedly informed of the serious safety findings and the need for evacuation until proper fire exiting is installed, the factory owner refuses to evacuate the building.

As a result, the factory remains open, with production, and with workers in the building.

The Accord said it is compelled to disclose the information publicly, adding: “Mega Chois Knitwear accordingly is considered a non-compliant supplier and ineligible to produce for any Accord signatory companies.

“The Accord shall continue our work with the relevant Accord companies, Accord labour signatories, and the MoLE Inspector General to carry out the temporary evacuation requirement. The Accord shall also work with the respective parties to ensure that the provisions of Accord are followed as they relate to the affected workers.”