FIRE AND BUILDING SAFETY IN BANGLADESH

Inditex is proud to be an original co-signatory to a legally binding agreement to make its textile factories safe.

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is a landmark document that enshrines essential health and safety measures in an enforceable and transparent way.

The provisions include:

  • independent safety inspections
  • public reporting
  • corrective action planning
  • financial support for upgrade and improvement work
  • job and income protection for workers during factory closures due to renovations
  • alternative employment for workers who lose their job because of loss of orders at unsafe facilities
  • labour rights protections for workers who refuse to work in unsafe premises
  • fire and building safety training
  • establishment of health and safety committees at all factories
  • complaints procedures for health and safety concerns
  • funding for the implementation of the agreement
  • supply chain transparency

Our decision encouraged more than 200 other retailers to follow suit

Our early decision to sign the agreement with key unions in 2013 encouraged more than 200 other global retailers to follow suit.

After inspections of more than 1,600 factories, the first facilities completed their safety recommendations in 2015, with many dozens coming in the pipeline behind them.

The impetus for transformative change in the Bangladeshi textile industry came in the wake of the Rana Plaza factory building collapse in Dhaka, which killed more than 1,100 people and injured 2,000 others.

Although Inditex had no commercial relationship with any of the factories in Rana Plaza, we participated from the outset in the initiatives which emerged from the disaster.

Other projects in the country

Among our most recent projects is a pilot scheme in four Bangladeshi factories together IndustriALL Global Union to institute participation committees with free selection of candidates and democratic elections.

The process has given representation to almost 4,000 workers and facilitates the creation of health and safety committees, one of the provisions of the Accord.

Our sustainability and auditing teams continue to take a leading role in improving working conditions and ensuring that employees can do the work in a safe environment.

Our contribution to fire and building safety in Bangladesh, in numbers:
  • 387,000 workers in Bangladesh
  • 98% of Bangladeshi suppliers now graded A or B for compliance
  • 500 audits in Bangladesh in 2015