Accord could seek 3 more years to finish remediation
The Accord, a platform of European retailers and brands empowered to monitor safety standard in Bangladesh's apparel industry, yesterday said it would not be able to complete the remediation work within the stipulated time.
Rob Wayss, executive director and acting chief safety inspector of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, made the comment at a media briefing at a hotel in Dhaka.
He said the signatories to the Accord are now discussing to extend the tenure by three more years after its expiry in June next year.
“There is wide consensus among the signatories to the Accord, global unions and its local affiliates that the work of the Accord will not be completed by June 2018,” said Wayss.
After the Rana Plaza building disaster in April 2013, the Accord took a five-year initiative to help factories improve fire, electrical and building safety standard in the apparel factories supplying products to its members.
According to the latest data of the Accord, 77 percent electrical, fire and structural safety hazards identified during the initial inspections have been addressed so far.
Eighty-eight percent electrical safety defects have been fixed, while it is 71 percent with fire safety risks and 57 percent with structural safety risks. The Accord has inspected 1,534 garment units, of which 65 factories have implemented all corrective plans.
Wayss said several dozens of the signatory companies and two global unions along with their local affiliates have been in discussion for couple of months on what will happen after June 2018.
“The discussions are yet to be completed, but the Accord anticipates that it will come to an end within a couple of months,” he said.
Wayss said the unprecedented model of independent inspections, collective brand leverage, public disclosure, accountability and governance has proven to be successful.
“The achievements are laudable.”
The Accord said a direct financial support programme has been launched to help factories finish the remediation.
“We need to ensure that major and costly safety measures, such as protected fire exits, fire alarm and fire protection systems and structural retrofitting work can and will be remediated urgently,” says Joris Oldenziel, head of public affairs at the Accord's office in the Netherlands.