Practical Process of RMG Industry

Accord Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety

Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety

Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety


Alliance Members are committed to providing tangible safety improvements and benefits to Bangladeshi garment workers. The Alliance’s Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative is a results-oriented action plan built upon principles of commitment, collaboration, and accountability. This ambitious initiative will require close coordination and true partnership between buyers and vendors. Who is the Alliance? Why was the Alliance formed? What has the Alliance committed to do? What role do vendors have in the Alliance? What kind of support will vendors receive? What are the immediate next steps?


Who is the Alliance?


  • North American apparel industry brands and buyers partnered with multiple stakeholders to form the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety
  • Founding members include: Carter's, Canadian Tire, Children's Place, Costco, Gap Inc., Hudson Bay Company, JC Penney, Jones, Li & Fung, Macy's, Nordstrom, Sears, Target, VF, Walmart

Why was the Alliance formed and what is it focused on?


  • The safety record of Bangladeshi factories is unacceptable and requires the collective effort of vendors, the Bangladeshi government, buyers, workers, and international organizations
  • We can prevent future tragedies by consolidating and amplifying our individual efforts to bring about real and sustained progress
  • Fire and building safety in apparel factories must become a primary focus of all stakeholders if the ready-made garment sector is to continue to grow and thrive in Bangladesh
  • The Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative is focused on both 1) protecting and empowering workers, and 2) elevating fire and building safety in Bangladeshi garment factories through comprehensive and measurable actions.


What has the Alliance committed to do?


  • Develop standardized fire and building safety standards and a standardized inspection protocol to be implemented in all factories Members source from in Bangladesh.
  • Develop and implement a common Fire and Building Safety Standard and Inspection Protocol
  • A Committee of Experts in fire and building safety approved by the Alliance Board of Directors will be convened to develop and implement the Alliance Fire and Building Safety Standards, as well as the inspection process
  • Key goal includes aligning with existing collaboratives including the National Action Plan, Accord and Compact
  • Inspect 100% of Alliance Member factories 
  • The Alliance, through the Executive Director, shall recommend a process by which Members’ inspections are mutually shared with both the Bangladeshi government and participating members of the Accord
  • empower workers through Worker Participation Committees, and provide fire and building safety training to both workers and management.
  • Help ensure the existence of Worker Participation Committees (“WPCs”) at every Alliance Member factory, in which workers will elect their own members, subject to applicable Bangladeshi law. 
  • Each WPC will be made up of no less than 50 percent of workers. Third-party trainers will provide the information and education so that these WPCs can become the voice for worker concerns about safety (among other concerns) with factory management.
  • Completion date: ongoing.
  • Provide fire and building safety training to workers and management. 
  • The Alliance will appoint a Training Committee to draw from best practices and recognized protocols of fire and building safety training programs, and develop a uniform set of fire and building safety educational standards and a curriculum.
  • Engage third-party hotline and mobile technology providers to oversee worker training programs to use hotline/mobile technology.
  • Completion date: ongoing.
  • Be transparent about fire and building safety inspections, and share progress on the implementation of corrective action plans.
  • The Alliance will share information on training and fire & building safety inspections via the Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC). 
  • Monthly reports will be made public on safety inspections and progress updates on remediation plans being undertaken.
  • Completion date: ongoing.
  • The Alliance will work closely with the Bangladeshi Government, and other stakeholders, to share inspection reports.
  • The Alliance, through the Executive Director, shall also recommend a process by which Members’ inspections can be mutually shared with both the Bangladeshi government and participating members of the Accord.
  • Completion date: ongoing.
  • Help ensure that appropriate levels of funding and support exist to drive results.
  • Members are committed to helping vendors ensure that fire and building safety remediation plans are financially viable.
  • Individual Members are making available to factories access to over $100 million in affordable capital to facilitate remediation of factories. 
  • Completion date: ongoing.
  • Members are committed to supporting workers through a Worker Safety Fund.
  • The Worker Safety Fund will be used to provide factory inspections for fire and building safety, training and worker empowerment. The Alliance has already raised over $42 million for the Worker Safety Fund, and continues to attract new members and funding.
  • Completion date: ongoing.

What steps will the Alliance take in the event a factory is deemed unsafe?


  • If, in the opinion of the Qualified Inspectors, an inspection identifies a severe and imminent danger to worker safety, the Inspector shall: 
  • Immediately inform Factory management, the Factory’s Worker Participation Committee, worker representatives (where one or more unions are present), the local government building department, the BGMEA/BKMEA, as well as Members through the Board of Directors.
  • Recommend to Factory management and local government the immediate implementation of remedial action, including immediate interim closure and evacuation of the Factory, if necessary.
  • You may contact:Accord Alliance for bangladesh worker safety team

Some Question of Alliance

Question:
Have workers that operate and maintain the electrical system received


electrical safety training? Is training documentation on site?




Description:
Workers that operate and maintain the electrical system have not received

electrical safety training.


Source of Findings:
Worker Interviews: As per worker interview they have no electrical safety

training.


Suggested Plan of
Develop and implement an electrical safety program. Include key topics such
Action:
as lock out/tag out procedures, personal protective equipment requirements,

etc.




Standard:
Reference NFPA 70e for example


Question:
Are thermographic scans of electrical equipment completed at least every

three years?




Description:
Thermographic scans of electrical equipment are not completed.


Source of Findings:
Document Review: No thermographic scans for electrical equipment.


Suggested Plan of
Complete thermographic scans at least on a three year cycle. Thermographic
Action:
scans should be completed in accordance with the Standard for Infrared

Inspection of Electrical Systems & Rotating Equipment and NFPA70B or a

comparable standard.




Standard:
Alliance Standards Part 10 Section 10.13.8 Electrical Inspections


Question:
Transformers do not contain harmful substances such as PCBs.



Description:
There is no document which can prove that the transformer does not contain

harmful substances like PCBs.


Source of Findings:
Document Review: No such document was found.


Suggested Plan of
Consider replacing transformers with harmful substances to reduce health
Action:
hazards.




Question:
Are periodic safety inspections of the electrical system components completed

and documented?




Description:
No periodic safety inspections of the electrical system components are

completed .


Source of Findings:
Document Review: No periodic safety inspections of the electrical system

components.


Suggested Plan of
Establish a periodic inspection program to ensure the electrical systems are
Action:
free from damage, debris, dirt, lint, etc. Maintain records concerning

inspections and follow up actions.


Suggested Deadline
13 Feb 2015
Date:



Standard:
Alliance Standard Part 10 Section 10.13 Inspection and Testing and Part 13

Section 13.6 Housekeeping


Question:
Is the electrical switchgear and panel boards inspected on an annual basis to

ensure that the equipment is installed in accordance with the listed ratings?




Description:
The electrical switchgear and panel boards are inspected on an annual basis,

but all points are not covered with this inspection to ensure that the equipment

is installed in accordance with the listed ratings.


Source of Findings:
Document Review: Insufficient documentation of annual inspection record for

electrical switchgear and panel boards.


Suggested Plan of
Inspect electrical switchgear and panel boards on an annual basis to ensure
Action:
that the equipment is in good working condition.


Standard:
Alliance Standards Part 10 Section 10.13.8 Electrical Inspections


Question:
A transformer oil analysis is routinely completed on main service transformers.
Description:
Transformer oil analysis is not routinely completed on main service

transformers.


Source of Findings:
Document Review: Transformer oil analysis is not completed.


Suggested Plan of
Complete an oil analysis on applicable transformers at appropriate intervals
Action:
based on voltage and power.




Standard:
Alliance Standard Part 10 Section 10.13.8 Electrical Inspections


Electrical System Conditions

Question:
Have workers that operate and maintain the electrical system received

electrical safety training? Is training documentation on site?




Description:
Workers that operate and maintain the electrical system have not received

electrical safety training.


Source of Findings:
Worker Interviews: As per worker interview they have no electrical safety

training.


Suggested Plan of
Develop and implement an electrical safety program. Include key topics such
Action:
as lock out/tag out procedures, personal protective equipment requirements,

etc.


Standard:
Reference NFPA 70e for example


Question:
Are thermographic scans of electrical equipment completed at least every

three years?




Description:
Thermographic scans of electrical equipment are not completed.


Source of Findings:
Document Review: No thermographic scans for electrical equipment.


Suggested Plan of
Complete thermographic scans at least on a three year cycle. Thermographic
Action:
scans should be completed in accordance with the Standard for Infrared

Inspection of Electrical Systems & Rotating Equipment and NFPA70B or a

comparable standard.




Standard:
Alliance Standards Part 10 Section 10.13.8 Electrical Inspections


Question:
Transformers do not contain harmful substances such as PCBs.


Priority Level:
Medium
Description:
There is no document which can prove that the transformer does not contain

harmful substances like PCBs.


Source of Findings:
Document Review: No such document was found.


Suggested Plan of
Consider replacing transformers with harmful substances to reduce health
Action:
hazards.




Question:
Are periodic safety inspections of the electrical system components completed

and documented?




Description:
No periodic safety inspections of the electrical system components are

completed .


Source of Findings:
Document Review: No periodic safety inspections of the electrical system

components.


Suggested Plan of
Establish a periodic inspection program to ensure the electrical systems are
Action:
free from damage, debris, dirt, lint, etc. Maintain records concerning

inspections and follow up actions.




Standard:
Alliance Standard Part 10 Section 10.13 Inspection and Testing and Part 13

Section 13.6 Housekeeping


Question:
Is the electrical switchgear and panel boards inspected on an annual basis to

ensure that the equipment is installed in accordance with the listed ratings?




Description:
The electrical switchgear and panel boards are inspected on an annual basis,

but all points are not covered with this inspection to ensure that the equipment

is installed in accordance with the listed ratings.


Source of Findings:
Document Review: Insufficient documentation of annual inspection record for

electrical switchgear and panel boards.


Suggested Plan of
Inspect electrical switchgear and panel boards on an annual basis to ensure

Alliance Condition

that the equipment is in good working condition.





  • Partner with buyers and other stakeholders to help ensure their workers have a safe place to work.
  • Understand the financial incentives available to make safety improvements.
  • Understand the penalties if vendors fail to make fire and building safety upgrades.
  • Help the Alliance to meet the timelines established for each of the specific tasks in the Member’s Agreement.
  • Raise questions if there is uncertainty. 
  • Share safety and training information of Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety


Engr. Kh. Mashiur Rahman Email: garmentspedia@gmail.com

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