Alliance finds 99pc RMG units structurally sound

Detects other faults like lack of fire equipments, doors
Ninety-nine per cent of the 508 readymade garment factories the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety has inspected are found structurally sound, said Alliance officials.
The North American retailers’ platform has listed for inspection a total of 630 garment units from which its members procure products. Of the 508 factories inspected, it found major structural faults at five units.
The platform referred the faulty five factories to the government-set review panel with the recommendation for immediate closure of the factories and the government closed three of them, sources involved with the process told New Age.
Sources said the closed factories are RSI Garments and Jans Fabrics in Chittagong and MAM Garments in Dhaka.
Alliance recently published detailed inspection reports on 27 factories.
It found dozens of deficiencies in each unit.
In a press release Alliance said that the common deficiencies were inadequate fire suppression equipment, lack of fire doors and poor electrical wiring.
It said that the majority of buildings were structurally sound, there were some instances in which buildings were overloaded and the factories had been urged to take immediate action to reduce the load and reinforce columns.
The recently published inspection report on Voyager Apparels Ltd showed that the store house of the factory was overloaded.
Inspectors did not found as-built document and design report of the factory building.
Alliance recommended that the factory should reduce load and to submit floor load plan based on the strength of the structure and display it as per standard.
Some cracks were found in the beams and columns and also some spilling were found in the roof of the main building of Finery Ltd.
Inspectors observed that the performances of key structural elements such as columns, slender columns, beams and transfer structures of the factory were not satisfactory.
Alliance suggested the factory authorities to conduct a detailed structural assessment of the entire structure.
The inspection report on Max Sweater (Bd) Ltd showed that the electrical drawings and layouts of the factory were not provided and electrical safety training programme had not been established.
The door of substation room was not fire rated and did not have adequate fire fighting equipments in the factory, Alliance found.
The inspection teams identified potential electrical safety risks and suggested developing and implementing an electrical safety programme and installing the fire rated door instead of wooden door as per Alliance’s standard.
Workers who have become jobless due to factory closures are being compensated in part by the Alliance’s Worker Support Fund, which is made up of dues from each of the Alliance’s 26 member companies, the news release said.
The wages of nearly 1,000 workers have been paid following factory closures at the Alliance’s suggestion to date, the release added.
After the Rana Plaza building collapse on April 24 last year which killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, North American apparel companies, retailers and brands formed Alliance to improve safety in Bangladeshi RMG factories.
The group expects to complete the safety assessment in 100 per cent its listed factories by July this year.

-With New Age input

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