New Fire Safety Training Launched for Garment Factory Security Guards Tazreen Factory Fire Underscored Key Role of Guards in Ensuring Safe Evacuations

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An important new initiative by the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety to protect the lives of garment workers by providing fire safety training to factory security guards. The course, aligned with guidelines produced by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), will prepare guards to react effectively during fire emergencies.

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“This training will empower factory guards with the knowledge and skills that can ultimately save lives,” the Honorable Ellen Tauscher, Independent Chair of the Alliance.

The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) today announced an important new initiative to protect the lives of garment workers by providing fire safety training to factory security guards. The course, aligned with guidelines produced by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), will prepare guards to react effectively during fire emergencies.

The critical need for this training was highlighted by the November 24, 2012 fire at Tazreen Fashions Ltd., during which some workers were unable to escape due to at least one locked exit. The fire claimed 112 lives. This course will supplement the Alliance’s garment worker fire safety training program, which has already reached more than one million workers in factories from which Alliance Members source.

“Security guards can play a leadership role in ensuring safe evacuation during a fire by clearing pathways and exits, supporting fire brigades and assisting with worker evacuation,” said the Honorable Ellen Tauscher, Independent Chair of the Alliance. “This training will empower factory guards with knowledge and skills that can ultimately save lives.”

The course is aligned with the NFPA Standard for Security Services in Fire Loss Prevention and is in the process of being accredited through the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). The curriculum was developed by workplace fire safety expert Dr. David Gold, who formerly oversaw occupational safety and health programs for the member states of the International Labour Organization (ILO), a United Nations Specialized Agency.

The course will be implemented through a train-the-trainer approach in collaboration with security guard companies. Third-party trainers and security guard company representatives who have been specially qualified will conduct the training. All participants who successfully finish the course and exam will receive a certificate of completion. To complement the security guard training, factory managers will also participate in shorter sessions in order to build awareness and support for the role of security guards in protecting workers.

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

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