BERLIN (Reuters) – Inspectors hired by a group of Western clothing brands have found safety problems at all the Bangladesh factories they visited as part of an initiative launched after a building collapse last year killed more than 1,100 workers.
The Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is seeking remedial action after identifying more than 80,000 safety issues, while the country’s $22 billion garment industry grapples with slowing export growth as buyers turn to India, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia because of concerns over workshop safety, higher wages and political instability.
More than 180 clothing brands and retailers, including the world’s biggest fashion chains Inditex and H&M, joined the Accord that was set up after the disaster at the Rana Plaza in April 2013 and the body said it has now completed initial inspections of 1,106 factories.
“We have found safety hazards in all factories,” Brad Loewen, the Accord’s chief safety inspector said in a statement on Tuesday.
Each was visited three times to check fire, electrical and structural safety, and the Accord team is now working with factory owners, brands, and labour colleagues to ensure safety recommendations are implemented, Loewen said.