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Bangladesh garment units still lack safety measures

About 31 per cent of readymade garment factories in Bangladesh have completely failed to fix safety faults, while 36 per cent factories making less than 30 per cent progress in repairing structural, fire and electrical faults. Factory owners had promised they would complete factory remediation by April 2018. Safety hazards pose a major threat to workers’ lives.

Following the Rana Plaza building collapse in April 2013 that killed more than 1,100 people, nearly 3,780 garment factories were assessed under three initiatives, Accord, Alliance and the ILO supported national initiative. Of the 745 factories, 230 are yet to start any remediation work in the last two and a half years after completion of initial inspection while 272 factories have made less than 30 per cent progress.

Out of 3,780 garment factories, 1,549 were inspected under the national initiative, of which 531 closed down, 69 relocated and 193 units shifted to the Accord and Alliance lists. More than a 100 readymade garment factories in Bangladesh are operating in risky buildings. This despite an order to vacate buildings that put workers lives at risk. And factory and building owners have been repeatedly asked not to use buildings without retrofitting or renovation.