Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The Accord engineers identified “critical findings” on Newtech Apparels during a recent structural inspection.
The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is conducting independent safety inspections at all factories in Bangladesh producing for Accord signatory brands and retailers.
A “critical finding” means that the engineers have determined that the factory is unsafe for production and occupancy in its current state.
In the case of Chittagong-based Newtech Apparel, Ltd., the Accord’s engineers found that the concrete columns supporting the structure are severely over-stressed.
When there is a critical finding, the Accord participates in the Government of Bangladesh “Review Panel “process and, where necessary, seeks to obtain a governmental order of evacuation.
In addition, it is the responsibility of all Accord signatory brands and retailers sourcing from the factory to make clear to the owners that they are required to evacuate the building, the Accord said in a statement.
On June 17 last, the Review Panel, based on the findings of the Accord engineers, recommended that all floors of Newtech Apparel above the ground floor be evacuated immediately and the Government of Bangladesh’ Inspector General , of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, issued an evacuation order.
However, when inspecting the factory again in July, Accord engineers found that workers continue to be working on the 3rd, 4th and 5th floor. On August 6 last, the Accord again verified that workers continue to be present in the factory, above the ground floor.
The Accord has notified the Inspector General who has subsequently filed a case against Newtech Apparel for violating the law.
The Accord has also informed the relevant Accord signatory brands and retailers of the owner’s failure to comply with the evacuation order.
The Accord is publishing this statement in order to ensure that all concerned stakeholders are aware that Newtech Apparel is unsafe for occupation and production.
The Accord calls on the owner of Newtech Apparels to evacuate the facility immediately and not to reoccupy the building until it is deemed safe for occupation.
BBN/SSR/AD-16Aug14-11:44 am (BST)