The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh

From 2010, in response to the ongoing deaths of workers in factory fires, efforts were made by labour rights organisations and Bangladeshi trade unions to initiate a programme addressing health and safety in garment factories. However, after ongoing delays, it was not until 24 April 2013, when the 8-storey Rana Plaza building, housing several garment factories collapsed, killing over 1,100 workers, that the urgent need for a building safety programme became clear.

This led to the creation of the Accord, an agreement that aims to “build a safe and healthy Bangladeshi Ready Made Garment Industry” (The Accord, 2017), signed by multinational corporations (MNCs), global union federations (GUFs) and Bangladeshi unions. The Accord entails several clauses, including: brands being legally bound to ensuring the safety of their factories; independent inspections, the results of which are made publicly available; the implementation of health and safety committees (HSCs); and worker empowerment through training, a confidential complaint system, and the right to refuse work.

The Accord, launched in 2013, was to last 5 years, until 2018. However, due to the positive impact it has had on health and safety in the industry, it was extended to last until 2021.

For more info check out the official page for the Accord here

also, to check out the updated 2018 Accord click here