Apparel buyers and retailers have expressed their concern over the slow progress on structural remediation in Bangladeshi readymade garment (RMG) factories assessed by Western retailers’ groups, as per reports. They are of the opinion that structural remediation is slower than that of electrical and fire and blamed slow move in Detailed Engineering Assessment (DEA) approved by the retailers platforms, absence of required engineering firms having experience of conducting DEA and high cost for such a slow progress.
In regards to workplace safety measures, Accord in its initial inspection had assessed around 1,600 local garment factories that produce apparel products for its 200 signatory members and had found humongous proportion of safety hazards. As per its report, out of 966 garment factories that submitted their DEA only 297 got clearance till June 2016.
In this context, the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishment (DIFE) could not provide any details about the structural remediation progress in 1,500 garment factories assessed by an International Labour Organisation (ILO)-Government joint initiative.
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Speaking about the delay, Md Siddiqur Rahman, President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said, “The progress is being delayed because the Western retailers’ platforms are taking much time to approve the factories, when Accord has asked for new requirements.
Roger Hubert, Regional Head (Production) – Bangladesh & Pakistan, H&M, which sources garments from Bangladesh in great volumes, reportedly inquired about the high percentage of structural analyses that are not yet ratified and the impact this lays on remediation work being delayed.”