Fire safety training for workers and managers have been implemented at factories in Bangladesh as the country works to better its labor standards, and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety announced a new initiative to provide that fire safety training to factory security guards—who can be key in emergency evacuations.
On the two-year anniversary of the Tazreen Fashions fire that killed 112 people, the Alliance said it would help protect the lives of garment workers by preparing guards to react effectively during fire emergencies.
Workers at Tazreen were reportedly unable to escape the blazing building because at least one exit door was locked.
Ellen Tauscher, independent chair of the Alliance, said, “Security guards can play a leadership role in ensuring safe evacuation during a fire by clearing pathways and exits, supporting fire brigades and assisting with worker evacuation.” She added, “This training will empower factory guards with knowledge and skills that can ultimately save lives.”
The training will be aligned with Bangladesh’s National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Standard for Security Services in Fire Loss Prevention, and is currently being accredited through the country’s Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).
Third-party trainers and security guard company representatives who have been specially qualified will conduct the training, and to complement the course, factory managers will participate in shorter sessions on how to build awareness and support for the role security guards have in protecting workers.
The security guard training will come in conjunction with the Alliance’s existing garment worker fire safety training program, which the organization says has already reached one million factory workers producing for Alliance member brands like Macy’s, VF Corporation and Walmart.