The International Accord, which launched in Pakistan in January 2023 to work with brands, factories and workers to improve health and safety in the garment and textile industry, is preparing engineers to identify any remediation required.

The programme is currently underway in Karachi, Faisalabad and Lahore, Pakistan, and spans nine weeks (with a two-week break over Eid).

In the inaugural batch, 14 engineers, including five fire engineers, five electrical engineers and four structural engineers are undergoing training. It is facilitated by engineering consultants, alongside Pakistan Accord chief safety officer, George Faller and International Accord head of operations Colm Quinn.

The programme comprises two phases focusing on classroom and on-the-job training. The initial three days introduce engineers to key Accord principles, the Pakistan Accord Building Standard, and essential key safety inspections features.

The classroom sessions familiarise engineers with key safety hazards to look out for during factory assessments, and capture this key information in reports used to develop factory Corrective Action Plans (CAPs).

Following classroom sessions, engineers undergo a nine-week on-site building inspection and reporting training.

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The initial inspections are part of the Pakistan Accord’s inspections and remediation programme that started in November 2023. 

The most recent round of inspections is said to bring the number of factories covered under the Pakistan Accord to receive initial inspections to over 25.

In January the Pakistan Accord reached the milestone of 100 signatories with the additions of brands and retailers Original Marines, Turner Bianca, S.O.K/ Group, Sun Garden, Tex Idea and MPL Home.

Brands aligning with the initiative make a firm commitment to not only adhere to the set safety standards but also to foster a long-term sourcing relationship with Pakistan.

In 2023 global brands PVH Corp, H&M, Inditex, C&A, Bestseller, Otto Group, Hugo Boss, Next plc, Asos, Boohoo and Primark became signatories.

In December 2023, it was announced that 88 brands committed to workplace safety in the global garment industry by resigning the renewed Pakistan Accord.

The development came after the Clean Clothes Campaign criticised several brands including furniture retail company, IKEA and French sporting goods retailer Decathlon for failing to sign the International Accord, adding that these companies are “denying their workers access to the Accord’s training and complaint mechanism, and instead, relying on less rigorous social auditing methods, perpetuating risks to workers’ safety”.

The Pakistan Accord extends an open invitation to all garment and textile brands and retailers sourcing from Pakistan to join this initiative.