Bangladesh moves to clean up garment factories
DHAKA (AFP) - Bangladesh on Wednesday ordered an inspection of all its 4,500 garment factories and arrested bosses of a plant at the centre of the latest deadly blaze as it tackled the industry's "alarming" safety record.
As part of the safety overhaul, authorities ordered the garment industry to end the practice of locking exit doors during production in the aftermath of two factory infernos since November in which a total of 118 workers were killed.
"The number of workers dying and being injured in fire incidents has risen alarmingly, creating an adverse impact at home and abroad," Habibul Islam, the national chief factory inspector, told AFP.
The fires in the factories where clothing for retailers including Walmart and Sears were being made have highlighted the industry's notorious safety conditions, raising concerns about the future of the US$20 billion (S$25 billion) sector.