The number of workplace incidents in garment factories witnessed a slight uptick and new types of hazards emerged in the post-Accord-Alliance period, said a Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) study.
The report, prepared by CPD Research Director Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem and Md Salay Mostafa, was published on Monday.
To ensure the safety of the garment sector workers in Bangladesh, two alliances, namely - Accord and Alliance, were formed in 2013 by RMG buyers based in Europe and the United States.
These two alliances worked for 5 years straight to maintain a safe working environment for workers in nearly 2,000 factories supplying their export orders.
After the dissolution of the two alliances in April 2018, the interim period till April of this year has been referred to as the post-Accord-Alliance period in the study.
According to the study, the number of safety hazard incidents increased to 46 in the 3 years of the post-Accord-Alliance period from the 45 of the Accord-Alliance period.
CPD claimed that the reason behind the uptick in safety hazard incidents in the RMG sector during the post-Accord-Alliance period is the lack of proper coordination among governing agencies, monitoring and enforcement of safety protocols in factories.
The study stated that the RMG sector could not maintain Accord-Alliance period level worker safety standards during the post-Accord-Alliance period and as a result, the number of incidents has increased.
According to the CPD study, the post-Accord-Alliance period witnessed safety hazards such as accidents due to compromise in the structural integrity in the factory buildings and gas cylinder explosion fires, which were nonexistent during the Accord-Alliance period.
The CPD report also said that the number of fire incidents has dropped by almost half during the post-Accord-Alliance period but there has been an increase in the spread of the number of worker safety hazards with diversified factors contributing to incidents occurring in factories during this period.
At the same time, CPD also put forward several recommendations and urged government institutions to work diligently to prevent such incidents in the future.