The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh has reiterated its "good and real progress" towards making the country's ready-made garment industry safe, but highlighed issues that still remain. 

The group has revealed that a factory where a fire injured five workers last month is listed as producing for its member companies, but was inspected for fire and electrical safety on 15 July. However, the storage facility at Cordial Design Ltd - where the fire broke out - was not inspected because the factory owners "did not inform the Accord engineers of this additional storage facility".

"This event again highlights the urgency of assessing RMG facilities for safety and working in earnest and across all factory facilities to ensure safety problems are properly corrected," the Accord stressed. 

Separately, the Accord said it has conducted fire, electrical and structural inspections in more than 1,000 factories used by its member companies since its inception in May last year. Inspections have identified safety risks in all three areas, and the group is working with signatories and factories to correct these as soon as possible.

More than 250 Corrective Action Plans (CAC) have already been agreed, with some -such as reducing weight loads and adhering to load management plans - already implemented.

But the Accord added that fewer than 2% of all inspected factories are deemed unsafe for production and occupancy by its structural engineers.

In these cases, the Accord focuses on expediting the required remedial measures so the factory can be safely re-opened as quickly as possible, and ensurs workers' employment is maintained and wages continue to be paid while this takes place.

The decision to suspend operations and evacuate a factory building is a "serious and difficult one", the Accord said. "Good progress has been made, but the Accord recognises that there is still a lot of work to do," it added. 

It added that all inspection reports and CACs will be available online "in the coming months".

Click here for more insight on the Accord's work: SOURCING: Bangladesh Accord calls on firms for more funding.