BANGLADESH: Workers see safety offsetting output
Garment workers in Bangladesh not only lack basic knowledge on fire and building safety but also feel fire drills and safety training take too much time and increase pressure on them to reach production targets, a survey has found.
The feedback was uncovered during a Baseline Worker Survey by the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety as part of ongoing efforts to measure workers' knowledge and awareness of health and safety issues, and subsequently develop training to meet their needs.
A combination of questions and interviews with more than 3,200 workers in 28 factories producing for Alliance member companies also found that workers feel a limited sense of responsibility to prevent fires.
A majority do not see the value of fire prevention measures; two-thirds think most fires can be easily managed; and nearly three-quarters think that some fatal fires cannot be prevented.
The results also show that existing training activities have had limited impact, with content not adapted to account for workers' low literacy levels, particularly among female workers.
Workers also believe fire drills and safety training activities take too much time and increase pressure on them to reach production targets during peak season.
The survey also reveals that supervisors are the main channel for worker complaints, but show a low sense of responsibility for, and awareness of, risk prevention. This points to a considerable risk that workers who report fire safety concerns will not get adequate responses or follow-up.
And there also seems to be a greater awareness of health and safety amongst young workers, suggesting that the next generation is more concerned about the wider impacts of the work they do.
The results provide a baseline from which the Alliance - a group of 26 North American retailers and brands including Gap, JC Penney, Kohl's, Target, VF Corp and Wal-Mart - plans to measure the effectiveness of its efforts to improve worker safety.
Initial findings suggest training programmes should focus much more on basic fire safety knowledge, encourage strong worker participation, and prioritise supervisors and guards due to their key role in fire prevention. Given the high fire risks involved in knitting, these factories and departments are also singled out for priority treatment.
The Alliance now says it intends to carry out the survey at regular intervals of six to 12 months to track whether training and assessment activities are achieving the desired benefits.
Click here to read the full Bangladesh Baseline Worker Survey Report.
Kohl's Corporation - Strategy and SWOT Report, is a source of comprehensive company data and information. The report covers the company’s structure, operation, SWOT analysis, product and service offer...
After years of struggling sales, department store retailer JC Penney appointed Ron Johnson as its CEO in 2011, ushering in a new period of dramatic changes. With new management, a new logo, new spokes...
VF Corp’s unique brand portfolio sees it moving from strength to strength on the global apparel stage. Its decision to focus on its outdoor and action sports division is an astute move given the lucra...
Kohl’s operates department stores that sell moderately-priced branded and private label apparel, home products, and housewares. Thanks to its size, the company is able to offer top brands and exclusiv...
- SOURCING: Worldwide change in cost competitiveness
- Water scarcity a challenge to cotton supply chains
- Li & Fung looks to new frontiers for growth
- Gap audits reveal compliance issues in Myanmar
- Fitness fashion propels Athleta towards $1bn sales
- Adidas to use only Bluesign-approved chemicals
- Scientists hail first recycled cotton garment
- Cambodia garment makers condemn strike protests
- Weak traffic slows sales for Abercrombie & Fitch
- Accord and Alliance discord "a setback"
- Global Database of the Top 1000 Apparel Producers - Company Names, Financial Performance, Key Executives, and Contact Details
- Global market review of denim and jeanswear – forecasts to 2020
- Wool in the 21st Century: new prospects for a familiar fibre
- Global Database of the Top 1000 Cut and Sew Apparel Producers - Company Names, Financial Performance, Key Executives, and Contact Details
- China - ISA Country Report