Bangladesh to begin safety inspections of garment factories prompted by deadly accidents

DHAKA, Bangladesh – Officials say Bangladesh will begin inspecting its export-oriented garment factories to assess the building structures and how safe they are from fire and electrical accidents.

The Labor Ministry said Thursday that the Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology will inspect the factories using standards accepted by the government, factory owners and international buyers.

U.S. and European buyers agreed earlier this month to harmonize their safety initiatives for garment workers with government efforts.

More than 1,100 people were killed in April when a factory building collapsed outside Dhaka, heightening concerns about poor working conditions and safety standards in Bangladesh’s $20 billion garment industry.

The industry employs about 4 million workers and accounts for 80 per cent of the country’s export income.