After the April 25 earthquake in Nepal ripped through the Kathmandu region sending after effects as far as Bangladesh, the Accord on Fire and Building Safety undertook to re-assess its factories after some reported seeing structural cracks following the quake.
In a safety assessment of 61 factories–part of the 200 the organization said it would inspect as they’ve been found to be the most structurally vulnerable–the Accord found modest cracks in three of them, the Dhaka Tribune reported. The Accord said it is following up with the three factories, the brands they make for, relevant labor partners and Bangladesh’s Inspector General to make sure the facilities are made safe.
Brad Loewen, the Accord’s chief safety inspector, said the factories have to hire engineers to investigate the cracks to determine whether they could pose a threat to worker safety. “The owners have already been asked to look into matter,” Loewen told the Dhaka Tribune.
Accord executive director Rob Wayss said, “The Accord is implementing measures to determine if buildings, we have inspected and which are producing for Accord signatory companies have been structurally affected by the earthquakes.”
The Accord’s brands include Fast Retailing, Inditex and H&M, and the organization has requested that its signatories share any information gleaned regarding conditions at the three listed factories with the Accord’s assigned case handler.
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a group of retailers including VF Corporation, Walmart and Macy’s, also said last week that it is working with factory owners to assess any possible post-quake damage to determine that conditions are safe.
Last month’s 7.8 magnitude quake hit just one day after the anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed more than 1,100 and brought to light structural and safety concerns in Bangladesh’s ready-made garment sector.