Alliance to stay focused on workers’ safety in Bangladesh


The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety has said it is committed to ensuring that past tragedies are not repeated, and that the government of Bangladesh and all other stakeholders have the resources and tools to provide effective oversight and leadership for the garment sector going forward.

The Alliance came together in the aftermath of the 2012 Tazreen Fashions fire and the 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse with the mission of improving workplace safety in Bangladesh’s garment factories.

As it moves into its third year of its five-ear commitment, the Alliance said in its second annual report that it will continue to focus on remediation and final inspections.

“Our dynamic strategies and ambitious goals will evolve as we continue to learn and assess our progress and effectiveness in light of the difficult operating environment in Bangladesh. Unauthorized subcontracting is an ongoing problem in Bangladesh’s garment sector, preventing the establishment of a truly safe and transparent industry.

“The Alliance will continue to work with member companies to compile and share best practices aimed at eliminating unauthorized subcontracting. We will also continue to put workers at the heart of our work in year three, expanding our worker empowerment initiatives to include all Alliance factories,” the report said

By the end of the year, the Alliance expects workers in all factories from which Alliance Members source will be trained on the Alliance Helpline, and it intends for all factories to receive refresher basic fire safety trainings. These refresher trainings are important to empower all workers to protect themselves in case of a fire, it said. Finally, by the end of the third year, the Alliance plans to take steps to make sure this work is sustainable and intends to develop a strategy to potentially transfer our work to the government of Bangladesh and other stakeholders.

Over the past two years, it said it has achieved many of the key objectives in the legally binding Members’ Agreement. That includes working with factory owners to develop corrective action plans for every factory from which Alliance Members source, so that the important work of remediation can begin.

It also includes developing, in partnership with international institutions, two credit facilities to make affordable financing available to all factory owners from which Alliance Members source.

Another key objective was implementing a new training program targeted at factory security guards, a group with a unique leadership role to play in safety in case of emergency.
Expanding the Alliance Helpline to cover more than 400 factories and delivering on its commitment to empower workers by launching an occupational safety and health committee pilot in 12 Alliance factories were the other major achievements, the report said. (SH)

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