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Walmart to conduct Bangladesh safety inspections

Walmart, the US giant which owns Asda in the UK, is to conduct its own in-depth safety inspections at all of the factories in Bangladesh that produce goods for the retailer.

The company has announced that it will complete reviews of the 279 factories in the next six months and will then publically release the names and inspection information.

This comes in the wake of retailers such as Marks & Spencer, Primark, H&M, Inditex, Tesco and C&A, signing up to a set of rules guarding the safety of workers in Bangladesh in the wake of the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in April, which killed more than 1,000 people.

Walmart has started conducting more rigorous inspections earlier this year and will begin posting results on June 1. The retail group has also posted a list of failed factories in Bangladesh, which are no longer allowed to produce for Walmart, on its website.

The company is also increasing the frequency of follow up inspections and visits will take place every two months to ensure the factories are complying.

Rajan Kamalanathan, vice president of ethical sourcing for Walmart, said: “Transparency is vital to make progress in improving factory conditions, and by disclosing this information, government, workers, non-governmental agencies, and companies can benefit from this work.”

Walmart will also provide fire safety training to every worker in every factory that produces goods for the company in Bangladesh.

Campaign group Labour Behind The Label this morning called for Walmart-owned Asda to sign up to the official accord. It also called on Arcadia-owned Topshopa and US retail giant Gap to join.

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