This year, Bangladeshi manufacturing industries have shown that there is no compromise to be made on the safety and compliance front.
After the tragic and horrific Rana Plaza incident, buyers’ confidence in Bangladeshi apparels sector -- particularly its safety standards -- was shaken.
However, we have come a long way since then.
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, both agreements have been carried forward to laudable results.
These feats indicate that, if we move forward as we have so far, Bangladesh’s manufacturing industry can prioritise safety for its workers, do what it needs to in order to compete efficiently and ethically, and increase production in the process -- thereby benefitting all involved.
Now that factories are forming safety committees, providing access to helpline for workers, and training their employees on fire safety, our RMG sector is on its way to fully ensuring a safe space for its employees.
But there is still much work to be done when it comes to environmental compliance.
While the government rightfully deserves applause for its stern action on the relocation of tanneries, factories are still continuing to pollute the environment. Stringent regulation, to that end, is imperative.
Addressing environmental issues is an indispensable part of compliance, and in order for Bangladesh’s manufacturing industries to truly be a force to be reckoned with, it is time we ditch the complacency.
We have tread a perilous path, but now that we have made incredible progress, moving into the new year, we must not lose sight of these goals.