Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The international Dutch chain of fashion retailer C&A has launched an in-depth fire safety audit at all its suppliers in Bangladesh after the country’s worst-ever industrial blaze at Tazreen Fashions.
The company also treats to shift its orders to other places if any factory fails to comply with the recommendations provided by the audit which is supposed to be completed by middle of March.
The deadly blaze at Tazreen in November last year, took 112 workers’ lives and injured several others. The factory had manufactured garments for C&A.
The audit work includes an assessment of the electrical systems, building layout and building construction and will involve fire safety training.
C&A has already offered its financial and medication support to the Tazreen fire victims who need further treatment until they join the workforce and another support to educate the children who lost at least one parent during the fire until they are eighteen.
A statement quoting Phil Chamberlain, head of Sustainable Business Development at C&A Europe, said, “In addition to those measures the tragedy of 24 November has shown that despite C&A’s long tradition of safeguarding work safety in Bangladeshi production plants, additional audits on fire safety are necessary.”
For this reason C&A has started an in-depth fire safety audit at all of its listed factories owned by locally-based supply partners. The scope of work includes an assessment of the electrical systems, building layout and building construction, and will involve fire safety training also.
“If any factory is unwilling or unable to carry out necessary improvements, C&A production will be located elsewhere until such time that such factories can comply in full with the recommendations made following the audit,” it said.
The first audits will be completed by middle of March. The forecast costs of the in-depth audit financed by the C&A Foundation are estimated to be in the region of US$1.0 million.
After the Tazreen fire incident, international buyers have sharpened watch on their sourcing from Bangladesh which makes clothes for the multinational retailers, a Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) leader said.
Earlier, the local liaison offices of the buyers used to deal with the supply chain including dealing with contractors and checking their safety standards before placing orders while after the fire the retailers have tightened the screw and are strongly monitoring the process from headquarters.
BBN/SSR/AD-01Mar13-11:10 am (BST)