Walmart announces plan to raise inspection standards and provide full transparency on safety conditions at all factories in its

    Walmart announces plan to raise inspection standards and provide full
 transparency on safety conditions at all factories in its Bangladesh supply

Bureau Veritas to provide fire safety training to every worker in every
factory producing for Walmart in Bangladesh; Labor Voices partnership will
empower factory workers with grassroots level communication to share safety
concerns in factories

PR Newswire

BENTONVILLE, Ark., May 14, 2013

BENTONVILLE, Ark., May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Walmart announced that it will
conduct in-depth safety inspections at 100 percent of the factories in
Bangladesh that produce goods for the retailer. The company will complete all
reviews within six months and will publicly release the names and inspection
information on all 279 factories. As a result, workers in these facilities
can be assured of safer working conditions, and the entire market will be
lifted to a new standard.

Walmart began more rigorous inspections under the enhanced safety program
earlier this year, and will begin posting results of these inspections on June
1. Adding to this new level of supply chain transparency, starting today, the
company posted on its website the list of failed factories in Bangladesh that
are no longer allowed to produce for Walmart: list of all failed factories will
follow in the coming weeks. The company is also increasing the pace and
frequency of follow up inspections in all Bangladesh factories, with visits
taking place every two months to ensure both compliance and progress.

"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," said Rajan Kamalanathan,
vice president of Ethical Sourcing for Walmart.

The safety inspections are designed to provide detailed reports that allow the
company to continue to make responsible sourcing decisions, and include:

  oThermal circuit imaging to determine the temperature profile of the
    factory electrical system and analysis for possible faults and fire risks.
  oA review of system compliance with both local legislation and global
    standards (NFPA 70).
  oMeasurement of circuit parameters including voltage, current, insulation,
    and leakage to identify system performance and existing or upcoming risks,
    as well as a review of circuit load in relation to system protections to
    identify the degree of protection against overload and hotspots/sparks.
  oConfirmation of approved building design and verification of civil design
    compared to major dimensions of existing building construction; a review
    of building utilization per permits and as utilized; reviews of compliance
    with local legislation; review of routes of egress, fire detection systems
    and response elements, including sprinkler systems and fire mains.
  oVisual inspection of building for indications of structural distress.
  oReview of building use as compared to conditions established in fire
    certificate for the building.

Walmart retained engineers and other trained professionals to perform these
inspections at its own cost. The company will immediately order its
production stopped at facilities where urgent safety issues are identified,
notify the factory owner and government authorities of the need to take
action, and require remediation. Walmart expects that the costs of
appropriate remediation and ongoing safety investments to be appropriately
reflected in its costs of goods purchased.

"If we identify issues that cause us to believe that people's lives are in
danger, we will take swift action," said Kamalanathan. "Preventing the kinds
of tragedies that have recently taken place in Bangladesh will only happen if
all stakeholders across the board set clear parameters and take action to
drive real safety and compliance improvements."

Walmart also announced today that they will be contracting with Bureau Veritas
to provide fire safety training to every worker in every factory that produces
goods for the company in Bangladesh. In addition, the company is contributing
$600,000 towards a project that empowers workers to have a voice in the
solution. By partnering with Labor Voices, a company that communicates
proactively and directly with workers to identify and share concerns inside of
factories, Walmart will gain new insights for ensuring the safety of and
empowering factory workers. This grassroots level outreach to workers will be
introduced at all 279 factories in the company's supply chain in Bangladesh,
and provides another important venue for safety issues to be raised. This
proactive outreach is in addition to the company's existing hotline already
available to factory workers.

"Walmart is committed to a global supply chain that first and foremost
provides safe conditions for workers," said Kamalanathan. "In announcing these
changes, Walmart is focusing directly on the most urgent issue, and that's
worker safety. We invite others to join us in this effort." 

These new announcements build upon improvements to Walmart's previously
announced sourcing practices that include a zero tolerance policy for
unauthorized subcontracting, offering fire safety training to factories
through a $1.6 million contribution to the newly created Environmental, Health
& Safety (EHS) Academy, improving jobs for more than 17,000 workers in 34
factories in Bangladesh through its Lean manufacturing program, and empowering
the women who work in Walmart's supply chain factories through the company's
Women in Factories program that is teaching 60,000 women critical life skills.

About Walmart

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and
live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through
their mobile devices. Each week, more than 200 million customers and members
visit our more than 10,500 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and
e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2013 sales of
approximately $466 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.2 million associates
worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate
philanthropy and employment opportunity.Additional information about Walmart
can be found by visiting, on Facebook
at on Twitter
at Online merchandise sales are
available at 

SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Website: http://www.walma?
Contact: Kevin Gardner, U.S. Reporters: 1-800-331-0085, or International
Reporters: +1-479-273-4314,
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