Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and NFPA Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Strengthen Safety in Bangladesh Garment Factories

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Collaboration aims to protect employees and prevent tragedies due to unsafe working conditions.

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“For too many years, the RMG industry has not taken enough measures to protect employees and prevent tragedies caused by unsafe working conditions or poor building construction,” said Ellen Tauscher, Alliance Board Chair and former U.S. Congresswoman.

The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety today announced an important partnership with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a recognized international leader in fire safety. The collaboration, formalized today in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by both organizations, will empower Alliance Members, factories, workers and other stakeholders with information, guidance and access to training resources that will help protect the health and safety of workers in ready-made garment (RMG) factories in Bangladesh.

“For too many years, the RMG industry has not taken enough measures to protect employees and prevent tragedies caused by unsafe working conditions or poor building construction,” said Ellen Tauscher, Alliance Board Chair and former U.S. Congresswoman. “Our partnership with NFPA will ensure our Member factories will be guided by best practices used around the world and the most up to date standards for building and fire safety.”

Key components of the four-year partnership include:

  • Raising awareness of NFPA codes, standards and resources in the Bangladesh RMG sector;
  • Expanding training and education through effective fire and electrical system safety programs for workers and management representatives; and
  • Disseminating vital information to help workers recognize and prevent workplace hazards at Alliance Member factories.

“NFPA is committed to working with others who share our interest in helping to prevent life-threatening fire and electrical hazards,” said NFPA President James T. Pauley. “We hope these efforts will serve as a catalyst for the government and others who work in Bangladesh to strengthen their fire safety procedures within the garment industry and beyond.”

Moving forward, an implementation team of representatives from each organization will develop a plan of action, determine working procedures and identify participants’ roles and responsibilities. Members from the Alliance and NFPA will meet at least once per year to share progress made toward the partnership’s goals. The results will be shared publically via the Alliance and NFPA websites.

About The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety was founded by a group of North American apparel companies, retailers and brands who joined together to develop and launch the Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative, a binding, five-year undertaking that is transparent, results-oriented, measurable and verifiable with the intent of improving safety in Bangladeshi ready-made garment (RMG) factories. The Alliance provides global apparel companies and retailers the unprecedented opportunity to come together and put forward concrete solutions to issues that impact apparel and retail industries worldwide. More information about the Alliance can be found at http://www.bangladeshworkersafety.org.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at http://www.nfpa.org/freeaccess

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Guillermo Meneses

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