The government has so far inspected structural, fire and electrical safety provisions of 1000 ready-made garment (RMG) factories, report BSS.
Following the Rana Plaza tragedy, immediate priority was set to carry out safety inspections of all 3,508 export-oriented RMG factories throughout the country.
A further 1904 factories have been inspected by the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. In all, 604 factories from the original list remain to be inspected.
Terming it a significant milestone, Syed Ahmed, Inspector General of Department of Inspection of Factories and Establishments said, "We are now making concerted efforts to complete as many inspections as possible by the 31 July deadline."
"We shall not compromise on the safety of workers, and after the date, factories will no longer receive inspections for free and will need to meet the costs themselves, if they wish to continue exporting," he added.
Inspection of all 1827 factories under the national initiative has been hampered due to a number of factories remaining closed, moved or changed contact details.
Significant efforts involving Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE), the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and ILO are underway to create a comprehensive and accurate list of actively exporting RMG factories.
Srinivas Reddy, ILO Country Director for Bangladesh, highlighted the scope of the National Initiative for carrying out factory inspections.
"The national initiative has seen an intensive process of cooperation and collaboration on areas such as the harmonization of inspection standards and reporting," he added.
Reddy said: "Considerable efforts have also been made to establish management processes within regulators to effectively follow up on inspection reports in a systematic and transparent manner."