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The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh announces its plan for implementation

On July 8 the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh announced its plan to implement the Accord on Fire and Building Safety programme.

In May 2013 H&M, as the first brand, signed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, initiated by IndustryALL Global Union and UNI Global Union. The commitment is an additional step in an already extensive sustainability program at H&M.

The pioneering Accord is a binding contract between 70 apparel brands and retailers, international and local trade unions and NGOs. Its aim is to ensure sustainable improvements to working conditions in the Bangladesh Garment Industry.

“The mission is to ensure the safety of all workers in the Bangladesh garment industry. This joint effort is a credible and effective programme with a genuine commitment from all parties to work together. This is an important step to bring about long-term, sustainable change to the garment industry in Bangladesh”, says Helena Helmersson, Head of Sustainability H&M.

The Accord signatories state the priority is to move swiftly to reduce severe hazards facing workers in factories covered by the Accord. Therefore the programme will now start off with initial inspections at every factory that will be completed at the latest within 9 months, and plans for renovations and repairs put in place where necessary.

The direct involvement of workers in the factories is key to the success of this programme and with the involvement of the local unions, factory workers will be informed of any potential danger and their right to refuse to enter a potentially unsafe building.