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 garment (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

Shared 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 the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) for the National Tripartite Plan of Action (NPTA). Throughout this process—facilitated by the ILO—input was incorporated from Bangladesh RMG factory owners, BUET professors 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 stronger requirements where deemed necessary and practical.

Alliance 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, the involvement of workers and unions throughout the process, and the procedures for responding to severe safety risks that may be identified. 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 their 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.

Shared Factory Inspections: If a factory is shared with the Accord, the Alliance will not duplicate inspections already completed by the Accord, but will instead accept and use the Accord inspection reports and Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to track factory progress. If, however, the Alliance becomes aware—either through a Final Verification Visit, as noted below, or other manner—that highest or high priority items have not been addressed in an Accord-led shared factory, the Alliance will discuss the issue with the Accord. The Alliance will hold off on declaring CAP closure for the factory until after all such issues are addressed.

The Alliance will perform a Final Verification Visit (FVV) on all shared factories that have reached CAP closure under the remediation efforts of the Accord. This FVV is to verify that the factory has completed all items laid out in the initial Accord CAP, and to ensure that there are no additional highest or high priority items outstanding in the factory that were not listed in the initial Accord CAP.

Member Sourcing Policies
The decision to reduce or terminate production with a factory ultimately resides with each Alliance member, in its unilateral business discretion. Since the inception of the Alliance, members have been required to register all factories from which they are currently sourcing—and those factory names are released publicly each month on our website. Based on initial inspection reports, factories are then approved by the Alliance. Factory approval is subject to change after the initial inspection given that building safety is dependent on many factors, including the development and approval of an achievable Corrective Action Plan (CAP), follow-up on each CAP item with remediation, and final confirmation of non-compliance closure.

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