Report of the Accord pilot safety assessments in Pakistan

July 11, 2023
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The pilot safety assessments were initiated in September 2022 to establish an effective safety inspection and remediation program in Pakistan.

The International Accord is pleased to announce the publication of a report on the pilot safety assessments conducted with factories in Pakistan over the last 8 months.

The International Accord pilot was initiated in September 2022 with the goal of understanding the key considerations for establishing an effective safety inspection and remediation program with garment and textile suppliers in Pakistan. The main objectives of the pilot were:

  1. To gain first-hand information on safety conditions in different types of factories.
  2. To identify the common remediation challenges where support (technical, financial) may be needed.
  3. To do preliminary assessment of engineering capacity to conduct safety inspections and support safety remediation in the industry.

The pilot activities included 1-day safety assessments at 7 garment and textile factories in Karachi and Lahore, meetings with a range of engineering and fire safety experts in Pakistan, and follow-up discussions on remediation feasibility with participating factories.

The report provides an aggregated summary of findings from the safety assessments, giving insight to the potential safety improvements needed in the wider industry. Key areas where measures are needed to ensure minimum life safety standards include:

  • Structural design checks & preparation of accurate building drawings.
  • Fire-separated construction and sufficient protected exit routes to allow safe egress in case of fire.
  • Proper installation & testing of fire alarm & fire suppression systems to ensure full functioning in case of emergency.
  • Electrical system design and installation conforming with code requirements, as well as maintenance & cleaning regimes to prevent electrical hazards.
  • Maintenance and repair of boilers and their associated systems to mitigate the risk of serious accidents.

Factories in the pilot gave feedback that most of the remediation would be feasible and they reported some remediation already underway soon after receiving the reports. However, factories indicated they will need technical guidance on some safety measures, such as correct design of fire systems, and potentially financial support to procure certain equipment.

A consultation with engineering experts in Pakistan found that there is sufficient code knowledge in the engineering community in Pakistan to begin working with factories to remediate safety issues. Nevertheless, clear guidance will be needed on how to remediate existing buildings, which calls for particular experience.

The pilot has given some insight to safety conditions in the garment and textile industry in Pakistan and where suppliers may need most support to meet and maintain safety standards. In addition, it has given the Accord more indication of how to work with various stakeholders to develop an effective safety inspection and remediation program for all factories supplying to Accord signatory companies.

The Accord team is grateful to the suppliers who volunteered to participate in this pilot. We appreciate their enthusiasm to work with the Accord, openness to rigorous safety assessments throughout their facilities, and for providing detailed feedback on remediation progress and challenges, as well as other valuable insights for future Accord safety programs.


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