First Building and Fire Safety Excellence Award Winners Announced During Closing Day of Second International Trade Expo for Building and Fire Safety Held in Bangladesh

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Awards sponsored by the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) given to factories, individuals who have made exceptional safety improvements

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“These factories exemplify what is possible through innovation, commitment and collaboration They are helping to deliver on the promise of a safer garment industry for all.” The Hon. Ellen Tauscher, Chair of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety

Epic Garments Manufacturing Co. Ltd. has been named Champion and Vintage Denim Studio Ltd. Runner-up for the first-ever Building and Fire Safety Excellence Award—a new category for the annual Social and Environmental Excellence (SEE) Awards. The safety award is sponsored by the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) in recognition of their efforts to improve workplace safety.

“These factories exemplify what is possible through innovation, commitment and collaboration,” said Ellen Tauscher, Independent Chair of the Alliance. “They are helping to deliver on the promise of a safer garment industry for all.”

Epic Garments received the Champion award for excelling in the prompt implementation of safety measures—including stationing trained fire fighters at each of their buildings—and installing safe fire escape routes and exits. Vintage Denim was named runner-up for its commitment to making critical fire and electrical repairs, improving quality of life in the workplace and reducing the negative impact of the factory on the environment.

“In order to change the culture of safety in Bangladesh, factory owners must invest and commit to creating a safe workplace,” said Mr. Dulip Venturi, Chief Executive Officer of Epic Garments Manufacturing Ltd.

The Alliance also presented a Best Trainer Certificate to Ms. Akhi Akter, a senior operator at Hop Yick (Bangladesh) Ltd. and a graduate of the Alliance Train-the-Trainer program. Akter stood out among other trainers by displaying masterful use of practical examples, stellar confidence and an ability to administer a variety of different trainings in varied settings. To date, Akter has led more than 40 safety training sessions.

“Making sure that garment workers have the correct knowledge about fire safety isn’t just important—it saves lives,” said Akter.

The awards were delivered at the closing of the two-day Dhaka Apparel Summit 2014 and the Second International Trade Expo for Building and Fire Safety. The two events provided a platform for panel sessions that highlighted the significant growth of the Bangladesh ready-made garment (RMG) industry, addressed the challenges of shaping sustainable, responsible supply chains and connected factory managers with vendors who supply critical safety and remediation equipment.

Development of the Dhaka Apparel Summit 2014 and the Second International Expo was made possible with the support of the Bangladesh Brand Forum (BBF), the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA).

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About The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety

The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety is a legally binding, five-year commitment between 28 global apparel brands dedicated to improving safety in Bangladesh’s ready-made garment (RMG) factories. The Alliance holds each member and its factories accountable to operating workplaces that effectively ensure building and fire safety. In partnership with the Government of Bangladesh, trade unions and employers, the Alliance helps implement lasting reforms that improve worker safety throughout the Bangladesh garment industry and that ultimately create sustainable and positive economic development for Bangladesh. More information about the Alliance can be found at http://www.bangladeshworkersafety.org.

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Guillermo Meneses

Guillermo Meneses
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