Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety

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Standards & Inspections

Objective
The Alliance is committed to conducting factory safety assessments in all ready-made garments (RMG) factories producing for its members in Bangladesh. These assessments, conducted by independent Qualified Assessment Firms (QAFs), provide factory owners with a technical understanding of the fire safety and structural concerns related to their facilities, and prompt action plans that aim to systematically and sustainably improve safety conditions for garment workers.

Strategic Initiatives
Aligned Fire Safety and Structural Integrity Standard
The Alliance Fire Safety and Structural Integrity Standard was developed collaboratively by a group of technical experts from the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety (Accord). To help ensure consistency in the countrywide evaluation of RMG factories, the technical requirements of the Alliance Standard have been harmonized with the requirements of the factory assessment guidelines developed by Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) for the NTPA. Throughout this process—facilitated by the ILO—input was incorporated from factory owners in the Bangladesh RMG industry, professors from BUET, and other technical experts. In alignment with the NTPA, the Standard is founded on the requirements of the 2006 Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC), with the minimum number of stronger requirements where deemed necessary and practical.

Factory Inspections
The Alliance Assessment Protocols for Initial Fire Safety and Structural Integrity for Existing Factories were drafted to provide clear guidance and technical requirements for how assessments should be conducted and findings reported, and by whom. The Assessment Protocols define the scope and duration of assessments, the assessment and reporting requirements and process, involvement of workers and unions throughout the process, and procedures for responding to severe safety risks that may be found. All QAF engineers conducting assessments on behalf of Alliance members are required to follow the protocols outlined in this operational guide. Upon completion of the inspections, the QAFs enter the findings and evidence into the Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC). The resulting reports are then quality checked, submitted to the factories, and posted on the Alliance website (link to inspection report page). If a factory is shared with the Accord, the Alliance will not duplicate inspections already completed by the Accord, and will instead accept and use the Accord inspection reports and Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to track factory progress.

Member Sourcing Policies
The decision to reduce or terminate production with a factory ultimately resides with each Alliance member, in its unilateral business discretion. However, as stated in the Alliance Members Agreement, it remains the ultimate goal for Alliance members to utilize factories that meet the Alliance Standard. Since the inception of the Alliance, members have been required to register all factories from which they are currently producing – factory names are released publicly each month on the website (include link). Based on initial inspection reports, factories are then approved by the Alliance for production, with Alliance members agreeing not to source from factories that have not been approved. Factory approval is subject to change after the initial inspection given that building safety is dependent on many factors, including: development and approval of an achievable Corrective Action Plan (CAP); and follow-up on each CAP item with remediation and final confirmation of non-compliance closure.

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