Representatives from more than 40 apparel brands and retailers have called for a credible action plan to address workplace safety in the Bangladesh clothing sector as the death toll from last week's Rana Plaza building collapse climbs to 386.

They have also urged the government to play a more proactive role in setting standards for the construction of factory buildings - and proposed the formation of a committee comprising buyers, garment owners and government officials to deal with workplace safety, including building construction.

The buyers' concerns were raised at a meeting yesterday (29 April) with the leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

Brands and retailers represented at the meeting included H&M, JCPenney, Walmart, C&A, Gap, G-Star, Inditex, Levi's, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Target, New Wave, Li & Fung, Nike, Primark, Sears and New Look

Following claims that building codes were not followed during factory construction, the BGMEA is in the process of collecting structural design details for all garment factories.

In light of the current situation it has also asked buyers to extend shipment times and not to impose penalties on manufacturers for delayed deliveries.