Taking Fire Seriously at Echotex

In July, the management at Echotex successfully organsied and perfomed an unannounced morning firedrill. All 7121 employees onsite at the time participated in the drill and were quickly and safely evacuated from the factory's buildings.

Workplace health and safety is of utmost impotance to Echotex and we strive to do everything possible to ensure the wellbeing of our people. Yet we are constantly reminded that more can always be done. A recent outbreak of fire within a factory in Tongi earlier this month once again bought national  industrial safety standards into the global spotlight and have been a sad reminder of the challenges still facing this sector.

It should be acknowledged that the Accord on Fire and Safety has driven a lot of postivive changes with respect to industrial fire safety since its inception in 2013. The signatury of retailers have been key to introducing structural building improvements ascross factory buildings in Bangladesh as well as co-ordinating regular safety inspections and workplace  training. Nonetheless we feel these changes are not yet widespread or occurring quickly enough, and many factories across the country still have sub standardfire safety provisions.

Echotex understands that fire safety awareness and infrastructure is critical to saving lives and improving the overall working environment. We have embraced the expertise from Accord but we have also been prepared to do even more for our people and have been pioneers for certain structural, electrical and mangerial improvements in factories across the ready made garment sector. For example, fire exits are one of the most fundamental requirements for safe industry, providing clear and accesible escape routes for all employees. Since 2013, Echotex has been proud to be the national supplier of NINZ certified fire doors helping to ensure safe business practices across Bangldesh factories.

Together these structural improvements and regular fire drills are helping us to minimise risks across the workplace environment making Echotex one of the safest factories in the country. We hope to set a good example for the ready made garment sector and for the rest of Bangladesh's industries, preventing such disasters from occuring again.