The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh has warned that “too many” factories are still failing to address safety concerns nearly four years after the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory, which killed 1,129 workers.
The latest update on the Accord, a five year independent agreement between retailers, brand and trade unions, said significant progress has been made but it sounded a warning saying that there are urgent issues that must be addressed.
According to the update for the three months to January 1, nearly 700 factories of the more than 1600 factories signed up to the Accord have addressed 90% of the serious fire and safety concerns highlighted in initial inspections, while 127 have completed all necessary work.
It also reported that by January 1, 82% issues found in initial inspections of factories signed up to the Accord have now ben verified as fixed. Common issues include blocked fire exits, inadequate fire alarm and protection systems and buildings with structural issues.
In final three months of 2017, the progress rate of Accord factories installing fire detection and prevention systems rose from 31% to 41%, the percentage of factories using adequate cable connections and wiring has risen by 6% to 80%. Meanwhile, the factories adopting a management load plan for buildings, to prevent cracking and even collapse, also rose by 6% to 66%.
The Accord currently monitors the remediation work at more than 1600 factories. Factories covered by the Accord are subject to an initial inspection and periodic follow-ups to monitor and verify steps taken to address concerns.