The head of NFPA's field operations division says tremendous progress has been made to improve workplace safety in Bangladesh. NFPA Vice President Don Bliss, speaking at the “2nd International Trade Expo for Building and Fire Safety,” said that in the 18 months since a building collapse killed 1,100 garment workers and injured 2,500 others at Rana Plaza outside Dhaka, a strong commitment to safety by apparel owners, government, global buyers and other stakeholders is making the industry safer for workers.
According to an article in theindependent, the three-day conference in Bangladesh was organized by the Alliance for Bangladesh Workers Safety, a coalition of 28 North American retailers to help ensure workers safety with globally certified safety equipment.
"In the developed world, we take for granted basic things like regular building inspections and paved roads for emergency vehicles to reach us in case of an accident," wrote Randolph Tucker, NFPA's First Vice Chair, in the May/June 2014 issue of NFPA Journal®. "As a developing country, though, Bangladesh’s physical infrastructure—which must accommodate nearly 155 million people in an area roughly the size of Iowa—is still modernizing. Its garment industry, which accounts for more than 80 percent of the country’s exports, is no different, and a series of high-profile factory fires in recent years has brought attention to the industry and its ties to brands and retailers around the world."