The International Labour Organization (ILO) has hired a third party service provider to expedite the ongoing remediation works in garment factories of Bangladesh under the national initiative.” Under the move, some 47 engineers and other technical professionals would work with the Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC) under the Labour Ministry,” ILO Bangladesh Country Director Tuomo Poutiainen said. ILO and Bureau Veritas (Bangladesh) Pvt Ltd signed a contract in this regard at a city hotel on Thursday. It is a part of the ILO’s assistance to strengthen the RCC’s capacity to move the remediation efforts forward initially in the garment factories inspected under the national initiative, he said. He added that it would also help in building stronger foundation on the journey to graduate RCC into a competent industrial safety unit. ILO is supporting the operations and capacity building of the RCC and its member bodies under its “Improving Working Conditions in the Ready-Made Garment Sector in Bangladesh” programme funded by Canada, the Netherlands and UK.

Last year, the government formed RCC initially to oversee the ongoing post inspection flaw-fixing remediation works in garment factories under the national initiative, officials said. Moving forward, RCC is expected to evolve into an Industrial Safety Unit (ISU) to provide oversight functions in terms of industrial safety for all industrial sectors in the country, they added. In July this year, the government appointed 60 engineers and with this, the total number of engineers working in the RCC would stand at 137, said Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan, Inspector General of Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE).

Immediately after the Rana Plaza Building collapse in April 2013, two initiatives were launched by western retailers, brands and trade unions to improve the workplace safety situation in the country’s readymade garment (RMG) industries. Some 2,200 factories were inspected by Western buyers’ platforms – the Accord and the Alliance. So far, about 89 per cent of the identified flaws in factories listed with the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a platform of European retailers, has been completed, sources said. The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a platform of North American buyers, recorded 90 per cent of progress in this regard. Meanwhile, 1,549 factories were inspected under the national initiative, according to the DIFE. Of them, 573 factories were closed down, 79 relocated to other buildings and 130 units came under the initiatives of the Accord and the Alliance.