UNI Global Union: Fatal explosion at Multifabs Limited factory shows need to expand Bangladesh Accord

UNI Global Union extends its deepest sympathies to all those affected by the tragic boiler explosion at Multifabs Limited garment factory in Bangladesh on Monday 3 July that killed at least 11 people and injured more.

– This heart-breaking loss of life is the latest example why safety improvements in Bangladesh’s garment industry are literally a matter of life and death. The Bangladesh Accord has made significant progress in making work safer in this sector, but this explosion shows the need to expand the agreement’s scope to include boiler safety, said Deputy General Secretary of UNI Christy Hoffman.

The Multifabs factory is covered under the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety and has been inspected by Accord engineers. The facility installed fire separation of the boiler room and other fire and structural safety renovations. However, the Accord does not cover boiler inspections, which are monitored by the Bangladesh government.

In light of yesterday’s explosion, UNI along with IndustriALL Global Union are demanding that it be expanded to include boiler safety.  

Since the Rana Plaza tragedy of 2013, the Accord has completed fire and building safety inspections at 1,800 garment factories supplying more than 200 signatory brands. Accord engineers have identified over 118,000 fire, electrical and structural hazards at these factories. Today, 79 per cent of workplace dangers discovered in the Accord’s original round of inspections have been remediated.

On 29 June, a new 2018 Accord was launched extending the safety programme until 2021. So far fifteen brands employing more than 1,000 factories have signed the new Accord. We urge and expect more brands to follow suit.