Retailers Dollar Tree and Dillard's have agreed to new reporting standards that will help ensure greater transparency and safety in their suppliers' factories.

The move satisfies the overseer of New York State's public pension fund - which has, as a result, withdrawn shareholder proposals asking the companies to strengthen their supply chain accountability.

New York state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli also said the agreements will help safeguard the companies and their investors against the "financial and reputational damage that can result when suppliers fail to uphold recognised standards of labour and workplace safety."

The New York State Common Retirement Fund owns $30.7m of Dollar Tree shares and $5.6m of Dillard's shares.

"There's a growing community of corporations who understand that their suppliers' ability to maintain safe conditions is key to their business model," DiNapoli said.

"Companies like Dillard's and Dollar Tree are helping to make progress, but there's a lot more work to do. I firmly believe that greater transparency and accountability surrounding workers' rights result in stronger, more sustainable companies and better returns on the Common Retirement Fund's investments.

"Sadly, it took the deaths of more than 1,100 workers in a Bangladesh factory collapse one year ago to spur global action on these supply chain issues. We will continue to urge our companies to embrace robust reporting standards on workplace safety."

Dollar Tree, which operates nearly 5,000 dollar stores, agreed to have its global suppliers report on their ability to meet internationally recognised requirements for workplace safety and labor standards.  The suppliers' disclosures are to be independently verifiable.

The company has also created a new vice president position to oversee global sourcing and the administration of the company's new auditing programme.

Dillard's, which has 300 department stores, has created new workplace safety requirements for its overseas suppliers. Similar to Dollar Tree, Dillard's will require its suppliers to cooperate with audits of their adherence to the new safety code.