However in forth year, the Alliance will focus on Critical Safety Repairs, which are most important for life safety and Establishment of Worker Safety Committees.
Alliance, the retailers’ platform of North American buyers, made the disclosure in its third annual report launched yesterday.
The report reflects significant progress toward its goal of leaving the industry substantially safer as a result of the initiative.
According to the report, 55% high-priority items have been completed, 41% in progress while 4% yet to start. While the remediation of 43% factories is on track, 30% need intervention, 6% completed Corrective Action Plans (CAPs), 1% in critical situation and 20% shared factories are being remediated by the Accord.
“Ongoing assessments continue in our factories in the form of multiple on-site remediation verification visits (RVVs), during which Alliance engineers assess progress against factory Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) and confirm adherence to our remediation requirements,” said the report.
To date, 55% of high-priority repairs across all Alliance-affiliated factories have been completed, it added.
“By July 2018, all Alliance factories will have either completed their high-priority repairs or have been suspended from the Alliance’s list of suppliers,” said Ellen Tauscher, independent chair of the Alliance.
Progress toward this goal has been significant and addressing the rest of the issues most critical to life safety remains the primary focus, she said.
“Achieving safety in factories is about more than completing repairs. It must be accompanied by comprehensive efforts to inform, engage and empower the women and men who earn their living in garment factories,” said Alliance Country Director James F Moriarty.
“By approaching remediation and empowerment hand in hand, we are working to set the gold standard for garment factories throughout Bangladesh,” said Moriarty, also former ambassador to Bangladesh.
In the report, the Alliance stated that it is working with factories to prioritise the most critical repairs—most important for life safety.
It also said those issues including the import and installation of fire doors, the reinforcement of structural beams and columns, and the installation of sprinkler systems are often costly and time-consuming for factories to achieve.
The critical repairs include lightning protection system on the building, exit enclosures are provided with rated, fire-resistant barriers, means of egress are free from impediments, structural columns are calculated as strong enough to support the weight of the factory structure, machinery, and workers, structural system is free of distress, settlement, shifting, or cracking in columns or walls.
Warning to cut relationship with those factories which failed to make progress on repairs that address safety concerns, Alliance said: “Significant remediation is now underway in all active Alliance factories—and those unwilling or unable to comply are suspended and removed from our compliant factory list.”
As of yesterday, the Alliance has suspended 97 factories for failure to make progress on repairs that address safety concerns.
The issue of workers’ safety came under spotlight following the collapse of Rana Plaza, which raised question on workplace safety killing over 1,135 workers and injuring over 2,500 others.