The Bangladesh Accord Foundation has today announced the completion of the first reports detailing the results of factory inspections in Bangladesh. Available online on the Accord website as of Tuesday (March 11) 09:00 CET, the reports set out details of current building safety conditions in the first Bangladesh garment factories to be inspected and identify necessary steps required to improve the level of safety.

The reports do not highlight any issues of a similar magnitude to those which caused the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in April 2013. They do identify a number of issues to be addressed and explain the steps to be taken to resolve them. Some of these steps are already underway. The reports completed so far are for the first 30 inspections of 10 factories and were conducted in December 2013. Between February and September 2014, 38 teams of international fire, electrical, and structural engineers, working with Bangladeshi engineers and technicians, will conduct inspections of 1,500 factories in total.

Important milestone

Commenting on the reports publication, Alan Roberts, the Bangladesh Accord Foundation’s Executive Director of International Operations said: “The publication of these reports is an important milestone in the Accord’s progress and a demonstration of our commitment to transparency but it is only really the beginning of our work. There is a big task ahead of the inspection teams and the Accord will be working hard with signatory brands, union signatories, workers at the factories and the factory owners themselves to see that the actions the inspections identify are undertaken.”

The Accord is a legally binding agreement signed by over 150 clothing brands and retailers from 20 countries in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia and two global trade unions, IndustriALL and UNI together with their local affiliates. International NGOs, including Clean Clothes Campaign and Workers’ Rights Consortium are witness signatories to the Accord. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) acts as the independent chair.
The brand and retail signatories have disclosed all factories they source from in Bangladesh. These factories will undergo independent structural, fire and electrical inspections and all necessary safety improvement measures identified by the inspections will be implemented.

Brand signatories are responsible for working with factory owners to ensure that sufficient funds are available to pay for renovations and other safety improvements as directed by the Safety Inspector. Such funds may be generated through negotiated commercial terms, joint investment, direct payment for improvements, government and other donor support or any combination of these mechanisms.