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The Accord Bangladesh for Safety Worker?

What is The Accord Bangladesh for Safety Worker?

What is the Accord?

The accord bangladesh Legally binding agreement b/w global & national unions and 150+ global apparel brands with international NGO witness signatories. Aims to ensure a safe and sustainable BGD RMG industry.  Thorough, independent inspections with public reports. Factories undergo necessary renovations with financial assistance to factories that need it. Requires at least a 2-year commitment to safe factories. Factory that refuses to operate safely will lose business relationship with the accord alliance bangladesh brand(s). Central role for workers and unions, including OHS committees and right to refuse dangerous work. Governance: steering committee with ILO as neutral chair.  Receives feedback/input from an advisory board. Mandatory inspections with remediation as determined by engineers/technicians with support of brands as and if required. Disclosure and public access to information. Mandatory training programs and functioning safety committees. Worker safety complaints mechanism.

Description of The Accord Bangladesh

  • The accord bangladesh is remedial; not punitive.
  • Inspections are independent, fair, and coordinated.
  • Public reports are an opportunity for owners/ industry.
  • Inspection findings will be corrected with the assistance of the brands as required.
  • Suppliers who meet Accord requirements / execute remediation gain favourable publicity.
  • Goal is safe factories and sustainable RMG industry.

 

Inspections of The Accord Bangladesh

  • First set of inspections completed in Dec 2013.  Public reports issued in March 2014.
  • Initial inspections of 1500 factories for fire, electrical, structural safety started in Feb. 2104.  600 completed.
  • Lead brands being assigned for coordination and efficiency.
  • Worker and management representatives on inspections.
  • Accord, brand, supplier communications and coordination protocol in place.
  • Chief Safety Inspector actively recruiting 25 Accord staff engineers.
    Common Findings Hazardous Electrical Wiring 1
    Common Findings Hazardous Electrical Wiring

 

Lead Brand

  • Coordinating role to improve efficiency;
  • Modified random selection among Tier 1 and Tier 2 brands;
  • Key point person with Accord, factory owner, worker reps, and other the accord bangladesh brands;
  • Same obligations as all other Accord brands on remediation;
  • Flexible if unable or other brand wishes to be lead;
  • Important piece to the administration, execution, and monitoring of the Accord components;
  • Great appreciation from the Accord staff.

 

Remediation / Corrective Actions

  • Inspection report with remediation items issued within 2 weeks of inspection;
  • Owner, Accord brands in factory, worker representatives receive report simultaneously;
  • Lead brand coordinates discussions to finalize remediation plan; including confirming necessary resources are available;
  • Accord CSI authorizes plan.  Report is published on Accord website;
  • Combined efforts to verify corrective actions executed;
  • Progress is reported on Accord website through to completion and verification.

 

Outreach of The Accord Bangladesh

  • Conducting informational sessions with Accord brands and their supplier factories (to discuss Accord, inspections, and remediation plans).
  • Organizing similar sessions with IndustriAll structures and BILS for worker groups and unions (to discuss Accord and the role of workers and unions; including worker commitment and labour peace).
  • Engaged with National Effort, ILO, Alliance, BGMEA and BKMEA, and key missions on Accord related issues.

 

OHS – Worker Participation

The accord bangladesh Steering committee has approved proposal for:

– selection of worker reps for inspections.

– OHS complaints mechanism.

– OHS committee training approaches.

– right to refuse dangerous work.

“PSA” messages on Accord, inspections, and safety committees under development.

 

Operations and Staffing

  • Received registration as Liaison Office from BoI.
  • Recruiting/hiring training coordinator, engineers, trainers, case / complaint handlers, and office support personnel.
  • Main office secured (10 June move-in date).  Field offices / worker centers to be opened (Dhaka, Greater Dhaka and Chittagon
  • Coordinating role to improve efficiency;
  • Modified random selection among Tier 1 and Tier 2 brands;
  • Key point person with Accord, factory owner, worker reps, and other Accord brands;
  • Same obligations as all other Accord brands on remediation;
  • Flexible if unable or other brand wishes to be lead;
  • Important piece to the administration, execution, and monitoring of the Accord components;
  • Great appreciation from the Accord staff

 

Update on the Accord

  • Standards are finalised
  • There will be 3 inspections: Fire, Electrical and Structural Safety
  • The Accord is finalising contracts with 4 international firms to conduct initial factory inspections
  • Inspections will commence in February 2014 and go through to August/September 2014
  • The accord bangladesh leadership will write to the factory to arrange the inspection date
  • The Accord inspection team will provide written, advance notice to the factory of the date(s) of the 3 inspections (fire, electrical, structural)
  • Both management and a worker representative should accompany the inspection teams to observe
  • The report of each inspection will be forwarded to the factory owner, each brand that produces in the factory and the worker representative
  • The report will include findings as well as necessary remediation required
  • The factory owner will be provided with a short period to reply to the inspection report to confirm understanding and commitment to the necessary remediation and timelines
  • The inspection report will be published on the Accord website as well as updates on implementation of corrective actions taken
  • The Accord engineers will carry out follow-ups to the inspections and remediation monitoring
     Findings Hazardous Electrical Wiring 2
    Common Findings Hazardous Electrical Wiring 2

 

Correspondence from the Accord on Fire and Building Safety

Dear Factory Owner/Representative

The Accord is a legally binding agreement between international and national trade unions and international brands and retailers (Companies).  Over 140 international brands and retailers have now signed the Accord.  4 international labour NGOs are witnesses to the agreement.  The International Labour Organisation (ILO) acts as the independent chair.

The aim of the Accord is the implementation of a programme for reasonable health and safety measures to ensure a safe and sustainable Bangladeshi Ready Made Garment industry for a period of five years.  Full details of the Accord are available in English

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (Accord) shall be inspecting all factories producing for signatory brands for fire, electrical and structural safety.  These 3 separate initial inspections will be commencing in early February 2014.  The Accord is committed to doing our utmost to schedule the fire and electrical safety inspections for the same day and, to the extent possible, the structural.  Each inspection requires approximately one day to complete.

The Accord is writing today in the effort to help you prepare for the inspections, to ensure they are conducted efficiently, and in the effort to minimize any disruption to the normal production at your factory.  You will also be receiving a correspondence directly from the Accord signatory brands produced at your factory related to the accord bangladesh inspections and remediation plans processes.

In these regards please consider the following:

The Accord inspection team will provide written, advance notice of the date(s) of the 3 inspections (fire, safety, structural).   Such letter will be sent to you and to each of the brands produced at the factory.

Please have the necessary documentation for the inspections prepared and ready for the inspectors to review on their arrival.  These documents include:  the original building plan (architect’s drawings/blueprints) for the factory and same for any additions to the building subsequent to the original construction.

A management and worker representative should accompany the inspection teams to observe the inspections.

Within two weeks of the completion of all 3 initial inspections, you will receive the reports and remediation requirements identified through the initial inspections.  You will be offered one week to provide comments on the reports to the Chief Safety Engineer (CSI).  The CSI will then finalize the reports and necessary remediations.  The final report and remediations plan will be concluded in consult with you as the owner, the signatory brands produced at your factory, and the Accord engineering team.

As the factory owner and during the course of finalization of the reports and remediations plan described above, you must confirm that you understand the reports and will fully execute, within the provided timelines, all of the identified necessary remediations from the inspection reports.  Should you face difficulty regarding the resources to complete these required remediations, please be informed that you should discuss options for identifying sources for the required resources with the Accord signatory brands producing at your factory.  This does not mean the brands will directly provide you the needed resources but they are obligated to work with you to find the resources.  Please note that the reports and necessary remediations will be simultaneously provided to the factory owner, each brand produced at the factory, and the worker representatives.

Please be aware that within 6 weeks of the initial reports, the results of the inspection reports and necessary remediations will be published on the Accord website.   Updates on implementation of the remediation measures shall also be published.  This is an important component of the Accord’s commitment to transparency and an excellent opportunity for supplier factories to demonstrate their adherence to Accord requirements to brands, buyers, consumers, media, and others monitoring conditions in the Bangladesh RMG sector.  Supplier factories which do this receive positive publicity through the published updates.  We remind all suppliers that the accord bangladesh, by its design, is remedial not punitive.The Accord will film some of the inspections for internal and external communications purposes.  The filming will be valuable to the training on safety and health with management and worker representatives, will assist in implementing corrective actions, and can serve as an effective means to demonstrate the commitment and cooperation of the brands, suppliers, and workers to safe factories in Bangladesh.  Accordingly, inspections at your factory may be filmed.  This will be done in a coordinated manner.

The Accord staff and the Accord signatory brands produced at your factory shall work with your factory throughout the above described components of the inspections and follow up.  We look forward to working with your factory to ensure the inspections are conducted efficiently and fairly and the remediations are implemented sincerely and fully.

Fire safety check:

A check will be carried out to assess whether all the rooms & sections have been covered with fire protection and save evacuation & the following documents will be checked as well:

– All fire safety training related documents.

– Fire license is available and updated.

– Evacuation plans are posted.

– Fire equipment points.

– Width of each staircase is ok.

– Roof top is free.

– Reserve water available.

– Aisle mark provided & aisles kept clear.

– Congestion inside the floor.

– Assembly point is available.

– Possible source of smoke can be spread to other floor’s in case of fire in any floor.

– Safe & easy evacuation for workers.

– Number of exits + free from any obstacle + if any possible fire risk/other risk is there when workers will get out during an emergency.

– Sufficient Exit lights in the floor.

– Sufficient Emergency lights are provided.

– Fire fighting team & its activities/training available + photo displayed.

– Practical check of a fire hose reel to see the water pressure etc.

– Practical check of a fire extinguisher to see its effectiveness.

– Practical check of fire alarm.

– Fire drill records.

– Check maintenance records of all fire equipment (fire hose reel, SMD , fire extinguisher etc)

– DB board areas are free & safety warning is available.

– Any loose wiring.

Building stability check:

– Soil test report

– Building approval plan

– Check of design & drawing

– Some practical check of pillar beam thickness / width of every roof & stair + other some engineering checks.

– Construction methods/process.

Electrical check of The Accord Bangladesh

– Electrical design & drawing

– Electrical distribution

– Load capacity of the accord bangladesh

– Temperature check in DB

– Earthing resistance of transformer, generator + lightning arrestor and its setting diagram.

– BBT check (if any other electrical line in there except BBT)

– Oil meter of transformer check.

– Switch gear & PFI (power factor indicator) load capacity from digital display check.

– Single line diagram

– Main feeder line check – on how the electrical connection & supply has been taken into factory.

– Distribution board phase colour (3 phase is there and should be 3 different colours – RED, YELLOW, BLUE & there is a neutral phase & that should be BLACK).

– Door earthing of each DB.

– Rubber mat thickness placed in Generator room, Boiler room + DB room + all DB’s in the floor (should be minimum of 5 mm)

– BBT passed through the wall hole (should not be any hole & to be filled up)

– All DBs should be cleaned and dust free + vermin free always.

– Leakage/gap in DB board (if need a gap for any reason, then that gap should be protected by steel net).

– Generator operator certification (need a certificate from the generator supplying company, that the operator is able to operate the generator and necessary training has been provided in regards to generator operating, but if any renowned company provides any training /certification instead that will also be accepted by the accord bangladesh

– Rubber hand gloves + rubber boot used in generator room + boiler room.

– ECC (earth continuity connection ) is to be in all machines + all switch board.

This is the short description of Alliance

About Engr. Kh. Mashiur Rahman

He is Garment Automation Technologist and Editor in Chief of Autogarment. He is certified Echotech Garment CAD Professional-China, Aptech-India, NCC-UK and B.Sc. in CIS- London Metropolitan University, M.Sc. in ICT-UITS. He is working as a Successful Digital Marketer and Search Engine Specialist in RMG sector during 2005 to till now. Contact him- apparelsoftware@gmail.com

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