As we mark the first year of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, we outline progress made on the ground to ensure that no garment worker in Bangladesh risks his or her life in order to make a living.
In just one year, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety has made great strides towards building, fire, and electrical safety in the Bangladesh RMG sector. As evidenced by recent events, if factory management and workers do not work together and take fire safety and prevention seriously, lives can be lost. The Alliance is currently working with over 1 million workers in more than 600 factories on specifically tailored fire safety training programs, which is just the beginning of its five year factory remediation plan. Beginning with worker surveys on knowledge of fire safety, followed by intensive "train-the-trainer" sessions and in-factory trainings, The Alliance is already seeing results.
Fire safety is a joint effort, and when everyone works together and stays proactive, worker safety in Bangladesh is attainable.
One year ago, Bangladesh suffered one of the deadliest garment factory tragedies in history when the Rana Plaza building collapsed. In the weeks following, the magnitude of the disaster and its impact on victims and their families elevated a global conversation about one of the most pressing human rights issues of our time: protecting worker safety.
Everyone connected to Rana Plaza and the Bangladesh garment industry—in government, business, trade, labor and civil society—knew that this was a critical moment to mobilize the resources necessary to create change. The only appropriate response was to take collective action.
Assessment Protocols For Initial Fire Safety and Structural Integrity For Existing Factories
Issued by Committee on Technical Standards and Inspections Of THE ALLIANCE FOR BANGLADESH WORKER SAFETY ISSUED FOR FINAL REVIEW AND COMMENT
Last week, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety reaffirmed its commitment to ensure workers in the Bangladesh garment sector had a safe working environment and the ability to communicate safety concerns without the fear of retribution. This had always been a core component of the Alliance members agreement, but the membership took the additional step to explicitly codify the right of workers to refuse unsafe work without the fear of retribution. The capacity of workers to freely communicate safety issues with management is essential to achieving safe factories, and Alliance members are committed to ensuring this right is fully implemented and protected.
The full text of the amendment can be found here.
For immediate release: April 3, 2014
Noted government, labor and international development leaders join Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety Board of Advisors
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety is proud to announce the appointment of 12 Bangladeshi and international leaders to its Board of Advisors. Hailing from key positions within labor, government and academia, the Advisors will provide expertise and leadership to aid Alliance efforts to improve safety for Bangladeshi workers.
For immediate release: December 9, 2013
Bangladesh team well-positioned to deliver on commitments to improve safety conditions in Bangladesh garment factories.
DHAKA—The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety officially launched its local operation in Dhaka today, ensuring an on-the-ground presence to facilitate its effort to bring improved fire and structural safety to Bangladesh garment factories. The Alliance—an historic coalition of global apparel companies and their partners—will unify efforts to dramatically improve garment factory safety conditions in Bangladesh following a string of deadly factory fires and collapses.