Workplace Health and Safety

Despite the existence of national and international laws that protect workers’ right to safe and healthy working environments, factory conditions remain unsafe across the garment industry. The risk of transmission of Covid-19 in crowded garment factories has introduced yet another serious threat to workers’ health.

Many of these safety and health hazards are longstanding. Some factories have lacked proper safety equipment for workers or exposed them to dangerous chemicals. Others have had unsafe electrical wiring, which increases the risk of fire—a danger often compounded by a lack adequate alarm systems and escape routes. And some factories, particularly in Bangladesh and across South Asia, are structurally unsound, which increases the risk of a building collapse like the one at Rana Plaza in 2013, which killed 1,137 workers.

Ensuring that factories have healthy and safe working conditions has always been part of the WRC’s investigative process, and continues to be a priority during the current pandemic. The WRC investigates worker reports of health and safety violations -- from excessive temperatures inside factories to lack of social distancing on employer-provided transportation -- and presses brands and factory owners to ensure these hazards are corrected.

Protecting Worker Health during Covid-19

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the WRC partnered with occupational health specialists to develop infection control guidelines for garment factories and reached out to brands and factory owners to assess the steps they were taking to protect workers—and to empower workers to protect themselves. As outbreaks emerge at factories across the globe, the WRC continues to engage with employers and brands to ensure that workers who are exposed to the virus on the job receive the testing, treatment, time off work, and compensation they need and deserve.

The Bangladesh Accord

The WRC had been urging multinational apparel brands to improve health and safety in Bangladesh garment factories for years when the Rana Plaza factory collapsed in 2013. Following that tragedy, the WRC helped lead the creation of The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, the first modern legally-binding commitment that requires brands to allow independent inspections of their supplier factories and to pay for crucial safety repairs. Over 2.5 million workers in 1,600 factories are covered by the Accord.

Thanks to the Accord, more than 100,000 safety repairs have been made at hundreds of factories across Bangladesh—and at least 50 extremely unsafe factories were evacuated, any one of which could have been the next Rana Plaza.

The WRC continues to provide strategic and logistical support in implementing and enforcing the Accord through our role as a witness signatory on the Accord Steering Committee, and through support to our labor and NGO allies.

Related Factory Investigations and Media

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Popular International Garment Co., Ltd.

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Amidst Covid-19 Crisis, Untested Industry Group Assumes Safety Responsibilities for Bangladesh Garment Factories despite Concerns

October 26, 2020

Two crises, one flawed supply chain model: How the imbalance of power in global supply chains harms workers

April 23, 2020

Effective Infection Control Practices and Policies for Operating Apparel and Textile Factories

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To Create a Better Everyday Life for Some People

February 4, 2020

League Central America

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Suprema Manufacturing S.A.

January 24, 2020

When ‘business as usual’ costs lives: workers in Pakistan call for a binding safety agreement

November 14, 2019

Delta Apparel Honduras

July 1, 2019

Amidst Wave of Deadly Fires, Bangladesh Government Threatens to Expel the Only Credible Building Safety Programme in the Country and Further Suppress Workers’ Rights

April 23, 2019

Bangladesh Government’s Safety Inspection Agencies Not Ready to Take Over Accord’s Work

April 17, 2019


April 3, 2019

New Era Cap Company

March 14, 2019

Jay Jay Textiles

December 31, 2018

Arvind Lifestyle Apparel Manufacturing

December 31, 2018

“Ethiopia is a North Star”: Grim Conditions and Miserable Wages Guide Apparel Brands in their Race to the Bottom

December 31, 2018

MAA Garment and Textiles, Kebire Enterprises

December 31, 2018

Hansae Vietnam

October 19, 2017

Genesis Apparel

March 30, 2016

Gildan Villanueva

December 14, 2015

Industrias de Exportacion (INDEX)

September 23, 2015

Gokaldas India

September 17, 2015

Style Avenue S.A.

August 24, 2015

Thai Garment Export 5

April 3, 2015

Tex-Ray Swaziland PTY Ltd.

February 27, 2015

I-Cheng (Cambodia) Co., Ltd.

February 13, 2015

Kin Tai Garment

December 31, 2014


October 1, 2014

F&D, S.A. de C.V.

March 24, 2014

Optimum Fashion Wear

March 14, 2014

Zongtex Garment Manufacturing

March 13, 2014

Industrias Sinteticas (INSINCA)

September 28, 2013

Alamode, S.A.

June 10, 2013

Tazreen Fashions

December 4, 2012

Ali Enterprises

September 21, 2012

C.J.’s Seafood

June 20, 2012

ITIC Apparel

February 8, 2012

Hugger de Honduras

September 7, 2011

Eagle Speed Marketing

August 1, 2011

Kwangduk Langgeng (Formerly PT Kolon Langgeng)

March 9, 2011

Gildan Dortex

January 20, 2011

Propper International / Suprema Manufacturing

December 10, 2010


December 10, 2010

Productora Clinimex

November 19, 2010

LTU Apparel/British Thai

August 4, 2010

Garib & Garib

April 2, 2010

Darong Printing and Embroidery

September 18, 2009

TOS Dominicana

August 19, 2009

Empresas T&M

June 8, 2009

Lianglong Socks Co. Ltd.

May 15, 2009

Teerapat Industries

November 15, 2008

Confecciones Mazara

September 11, 2008

Mexmode, S.A. de C.V. (formerly Kukdong International Mexico S.A. de C.V.)

July 3, 2008

New Holland

June 1, 2008

New Wide Garment Cambodia

March 16, 2008

PCCS Garment

January 15, 2008

Beauty Silk Screening

January 15, 2008

Chong Won Fashion, Inc. (C. Woo Inc.)

February 21, 2007

Sinolink Garment Manufacturing

December 19, 2006

PT Panarub

December 19, 2006

Double Star

December 19, 2006


December 19, 2006

Lian Thai

February 15, 2006

Grupo M/Codevi

February 15, 2006

Fair Textile

February 15, 2006

Far East Garment Textile

February 15, 2006

First Apparel

February 15, 2006

PT Dae Joo Leports

September 8, 2004

PT Dada

September 29, 2002