The International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry is a legally binding agreement between more than 180 garment brands/retailers and global trade unions to make textile and garment factories safe. It came into effect on September 1, 2021, as the successor to the 2013 and 2018 Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.
The agreement promotes workplace safety through independent inspections, remediation, and training programmes and recognises the rights of workers to organise, refuse unsafe work and raise health and safety concerns.
Transparency and accountability
We see transparency and accountability as the backbone of advancing workplace safety. Through the publication of inspection reports, corrective action plans, safety complaints, and periodic reports of the Accord Steering Committee, the International Accord promotes transparency and accountability amongst brands, trade unions and factories in the textile and garment supply chain.
All suppliers covered by International Accord are inspected by specialised and independent engineers to identify fire, electrical, structural, and boiler safety risks/issues.
After initial inspections, factories develop Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) with the support of brands. Based on the safety issues identified within the CAP, the remediation progress for each factory is regularly monitored and published online
The Safety Committee and Safety Training (SCST) Programme promotes a culture of workplace safety by means of training joint labour-management Safety Committees and holding all-employee meetings to raise worker awareness of potential safety hazards and how to address them.
Workers and their representatives can exercise their right to refuse unsafe work and raise complaints through an independent grievance mechanism. This mechanism provides a trusted avenue for workers to register their concerns in a timely, secure and if they prefer, anonymous manner, and have access to effective remedy.
Provisions such as full factory disclosure, regular progress reports, an escalation procedure in case of non-compliance, signatories’ commitment to ensure remediation is financially feasible, and an independent grievance mechanism ensure that signatories and factories remain transparent and accountable while advancing workplace safety.
Since June 2020, signatories continue their commitment to promote safer garment and textile factories in Bangladesh through the RMG Sustainability Council (RSC) -- an independent, national, and tri-partite safety monitoring organisation for the Ready-Made Garment (RMG) sector in Bangladesh that implements the safety inspections and remediation programme, safety committee and safety training programme, and the complaints mechanism that were previously implemented by the Accord in Bangladesh.
The International Accord Secretariat in Amsterdam supports, coordinates, and liaises with the RSC to ensure that the brand obligations under the Accord agreement are fulfilled.
Explore the remediation progress of all factories that participate in the International Accord workplace safety programmes implemented by the RSC in Bangladesh.
The Secretariat conducted brand surveys, desk research, and in-depth interviews between October 2021- January 2022 to measure interest, presence, and volume of signatory brands in key garment-producing countries. Based on key findings, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Morocco, and India emerged as the priority countries to carry out detailed feasibility studies on expansion.
Between March - August 2022, the Secretariat met with key stakeholders from industry, government, trade unions, brands, and civil society in the priority countries for in-depth stakeholder consultations.
Based on strong interest from stakeholders, the Accord Steering Committee agreed to conduct pilot inspections as part of the feasibility study in Pakistan to inform the possible establishment of a workplace safety programme there.
Stakeholder engagement on the terms of a programme in Pakistan continues and a decision among signatories is expected before the end of 2022. The Accord will continue dialogue with stakeholders in Sri Lanka, Morocco, and India to assess the feasibility of establishing safety programmes in their garment and textile industries.