Bangladesh Factory Checks Reveal More Than 80,000 Safety Issues

A group charged with improving conditions in Bangladesh’s garment-manufacturing industry discovered more than 80,000 safety issues at factories in the Asian nation, showing much still needs doing about 18 months after a building collapse that killed more than 1,100 people.

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh found hazards at every one of the 1,106 factories it inspected, the organization said today in a statement. The group, which represents 189 companies including Inditex SA and Hennes & Mauritz AB, is “working intensively” to improve safety by installing fire alarms and improving buildings, it said.

“The safety findings have ranged from minor to significant,” Brad Loewen, the group’s chief safety inspector, said in the statement. “The Accord team is now working intensively with factory owners, brands, and labor colleagues to ensure the safety findings are corrected.”

The safety accord, a legally binding agreement between retailers and trade unions, was initiated last year after the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory, the worst industrial accident in the country’s history.

The organization, dominated by European retailers, said it’s working with an American group of companies called the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety to obtain their inspection reports as more than 300 factories are covered by both groups. The alliance, with 26 members, said in a report in July that it had inspected 587 factories in Bangladesh.

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