Alliance Executive Director James Moriarty revealed the information at a news conference in Dhaka on Thursday.
These factories, including 84 percent of items most critical to life safety, are now considered ‘substantially’ remediated, the former US ambassador in Dhaka said.
“I am pleased to note that the Alliance continues to achieve unprecedented progress in our efforts to improve safety within the ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh. Our factory remediation work is progressing at a rapid pace, and we remain on track to meet our stated commitments by the end of the year,” he said.
He said 141 factories needed sprinkler systems and 118 of these or 84 percent completed installation of the systems extending the time available for people to escape from fires. The system can also extinguish fires in the very early stages of combustion, reducing risk for workers and firefighters alike.
Nearly all factories have now upgraded their outdated electrical systems and installed fire doors that provide an escape route for workers as well as help stop a fire from spreading, added Moriarty.
“All of these achievements aren’t just good for the safety and well-being of workers, they are good for business (as well),” he said.
According to him, Alliance continues to operate a confidential 24-hour helpline, Amader Kotha, for more than 1.4 million workers across nearly 1,000 factories.
He mentioned Alliance efforts to train the workers, managers and security guards with regard to fire safety and skills necessary to protect life.
As previously announced, he added, the Alliance will transition their operations to a safety monitoring organisation managed by “credible and trusted” local partners by the end of this year.
He said they were in conversations with the government, BGMEA, ILO and other stakeholders on the exact details of the transition.
“…and we expect to announce details in the coming weeks,” Moriarty said.
Alliance and Accord on Fire and Building Safety were formed after the deaths of over 1,100 workers in the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse raised concerns among the buyer countries over workplace safety in Bangladesh.