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May 5, 2020

BGMEA carries out health and safety checks as factories reopen

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) says 96% of factories it audited for health and safety measures have been found to be "satisfactory".

By Hannah Abdulla

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) says 96% of factories it audited for health and safety measures have been found to be “satisfactory”.

The trade body appointed multiple audit teams to conduct factory visits to carry out health and safety checks.

As of 4 May, 282 factories were audited with 271 found to be ‘satisfactory’.

The remaining 11, which require improvement, have been issued with a corrective action plan before they can resume operations.

Around 800 garment factories in Bangladesh resumed operations last week after closing due to a government-ordered lockdown.

Rubana Huq, president of the BGMEA, said she came under pressure to reopen factories after the pandemic cost the industry more than US$3bn in orders that were cancelled or suspended.

In a Facebook update at the time, the BGMEA said: “Some of the factories in our organisation with limited population have already started following draft instructions created by [BGMEA]. Everyone is trying to build a healthy environment at their own safe workplace. Because workers are our wealth. And it is important for this, specific protection, security and hygiene, such as maintaining social distance, measuring temperature at gate, hand wash, hand wash during access, supply of staff, etc.”

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