April 15, 2011 Mr. Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin BGMEA President ...


April 15, 2011 Mr. Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin BGMEA President ...

April 15, 2011

Mr. Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin

BGMEA President

BGMEA Complex

23/1 Pantha Path Link Road

Kawran Bazar, Dhaka 1215


Dear Mr. Mohiuddin,

We have been following the news about the BGMEA elections and your recent appointment as

President of the association. We wish to convey our congratulations to you and believe this

comes at a critical point in the evolution of Bangladesh’s garment industry.

We believe it critical that you pursue the call to action made by your industry peers at the

supplier meeting held this past February in Bangladesh regarding the need for leadership and

reform in terms of building, systems, and fire safety within the industry and country. With your

leadership and influence, we believe the changes discussed during the meeting can become a

reality and will bring local and international recognition to the Bangladeshi business community

for taking responsibility and implementing a solution.

The tragic fires in recent years and resulting loss of life and long-term injuries suffered highlight

the need for improvements in legal requirements in building and safety codes in Bangladesh in

order to prevent future tragedies. These incidents could have been prevented or greatly mitigated

by placing greater emphasis on remediable factors such as safe and clear evacuation exits, and

improved and more systematic fire safety and emergency evacuation preparedness training

across the industry. Therefore, we fully support and expect the following measures be

undertaken to lessen the risks to your workforce:

The Government of Bangladesh, in collaboration with BGMEA, BKMEA and other industry

associations and stakeholders, provide mandatory fire safety training to all levels of factory

management (up to Line Supervisor) and all categories of workers (Machine Operators to


Government of Bangladesh, in collaboration with BGMEA, BKMEA and in conjunction

with industry associations and with other stakeholders, work to identify suitable occupational

safety organizations that can provide the training

Require that training and fire drills be provided on a regular basis (i.e. no less than once per

quarter), with the monitoring and documenting of the process undertaken by Government or

another oversight mechanism

Require factories in multi-storied buildings to conduct a combined fire drill once per quarter

with all the factories/enterprises in the building

Require that factories submit reports on training to the Government and industry associations

on a quarterly basis

Require that the Government or another established oversight committee conducts a

mandatory annual review of high fire risk elements such as electrical wiring and structural

integrity in all facilities

Require that a factory's license to operate be contingent upon maintaining sound and safe

facilities, particularly in relation to maintenance of proper and operable fire safety equipment

and electrical wiring

Require the phase out of factories in unsafe buildings, such as residential and commercial

mixed-use buildings, within a reasonable period of time

Require BGMEA to conduct awareness and training programs for workers on fire prevention


We look forward to continued engagement and to see your leadership in action in working with

other stakeholders towards the achievement of the safety and prevention goals identified.


Abercrombie & Fitch J. C. Penney Purchasing Corporation

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation

Carters, Inc. Target

Charming Shoppes, Inc. Tesco

Gap, Inc. VF Corporation


Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

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