The RSC was officially registered by the Office of the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms, Bangladesh on 20 May 2020 to be a safety monitoring body in the RMG sector in Bangladesh. The RSC is a private initiative of the Bangladesh Industry, global brands and global and local Bangladeshi trade unions. The RSC was set up by three incorporating members representing each of the three constituents:
Industry: The Shondhi Limited
Brands: Brands Association for Textile & RMG Sustainability in Supply Chains
Trade Unions: Trade Union Association for Textile & RMG Sustainability in Supply Chains
The RSC has a Board of Directors consisting of 18 representatives, 6 from each RSC member organisation.
Transition of Operations in Bangladesh from Accord to RSC
On 14 January 2020, Representatives of the BGMEA and the Steering Committee of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh signed an agreement on transition to RMG Sustainability Council. Therefore, on 1 June 2020 the RSC has inherited the operations, staff, policies and infrastructure of the local Bangladesh Accord office. The RSC is now equipped to implement health and safety inspections and remediation monitoring, safety training and safety complaints handling functions. The RSC is committed to making key aspects of the programme publicly available, including initial inspection reports and remediation progress through up-to-date CAPs.
Through the work of the RSC, covered factories will be able to complete their existing CAPs and ensure that all outstanding safety issues are remediated and verified as correctly fixed, and that the labour-management Safety Committees in the factories are equipped and empowered to monitor and address workplace safety on a daily basis.
The RSC will operate within the regulatory framework of the laws of Bangladesh, closely co-operating with and supporting the relevant regulatory agencies of the Government of Bangladesh.
A world-class workplace safety programme, enabling sustainable business and developing the supply chain.
It is our aim to maintain and create a safe and trustable RMG industry as the preferred production source for international fashion business promoting development and employment in matters of safety.
Our mission is to sustain and continuously develop a safe, humane and sustainable Bangladeshi RMG industry in a tri-partite approach, including industry, unions and brands, by jointly implementing a sectorial safety standard minimising health peril and preventing avoidable accidents and empowering factory management and workers through training and capacity building.
The specific objectives of the RSC are:
To promote, govern and oversee the implementation of Occupational Safety and Health standards and to verify the compliance with applicable safety standards in the RMG and related industries in Bangladesh especially in the areas of Structural Integrity, Electrical Safety, Fire & Life Safety and Boiler Safety.
To conduct inspections in the areas of structural, electrical, fire & life safety and boiler safety as well as inspections to investigate safety complaints, and special inspections following Safety Committee findings and industrial accidents, and eventually regarding industrial relations, skills development, and environmental standards; to monitor, verify and recognise remediation.
To maintain and further develop an extensive fire and building safety training programme to provide extensive and detailed training on Occupational Safety and Health in the factories.
To cover effective safety procedures and precautions, as well as enable workers to voice concerns and actively participate in activities to ensure their own safety and to develop a depository of know-how and information regarding existing safety hazards for the industry.
To promote, adopt and require compliance with existing or future national and international laws, regulations and standards for fire and building safety applicable for the RMG and other industries in Bangladesh, also through relationships with national and international stakeholders.
To maintain and further develop a publicly accessible database with regularly updated aggregated list of all suppliers in Bangladesh with specific details about factory safety standards, inspection reports, remediation status and other relevant non-competitive issues.
To supervise exporting RMG industry and related factories and permanently monitor safety, compliance, and sustainability of existing and new factories and to provide recognition of safe workplaces for garment employers and employees.
To maintain and further develop a worker complaint mechanism operating with independence and free from interference from in-and-outside RSC, ensuring that workers from factories can raise concerns about safety and health risks in a timely fashion, safely and confidentially. To provide for quick and effective remedy protecting anonymity, real and perceived impartiality, protection from reprisal and independent decision-making in complaint resolutions.
To promote better Industrial Relations (IR), Skills Development, Welfare and Environmental Sustainability, Pollution Control, and other Climate Positive Initiatives.
To appoint qualified Safety Officers and support staff as required to implement the RSC programme, and to appoint a Board of Directors, Advisory Council, an Executive Committee and other necessary subcommittees to support the RSC governance and implementation of its programmes.
RSC Key Features
Brands are in legal agreement with Unions and have a commitment to ensure safety remediation of their producing business partners is financially feasible and completed
Transparent escalation process for Non-compliant Factories
World-class permanent national initiative for garment factory Safety Inspections & Remediation Programmes
Full public disclosure of inspection reports & corrective action plans
Safety Committee and Safety Training Programme delivered by NEBOSH certified trainers
Impartial Worker Occupational Safety and Health Complaints Mechanism
Protection against retaliation for reporting safety-related matters
Protection of right to refuse unsafe work
Ongoing promotion of Right to Freedom of Association (FoA) to advance safety
Training and Complaints Protocol to cover (FoA) rights
Optional listing of home textiles and fabric & knit accessory suppliers
Boiler Safety Inspection Programme
Messages from Board of Directors
“The RSC is an unprecedented national initiative and through our collective efforts with the brands and trade unions we will make sure that Bangladesh remains one of the safest countries to source RMG products from.”
— Rubana Huq
Former President of the BGMEA and industry representative on the RSC Board of Directors
“Together with our Bangladeshi trade union affiliates we will help ensure workers in RMG factories have safe workplaces and have access to remedy to address safety concerns and exercise the right to safe workplaces. We will work to ensure that workers to have trust in the newly established RSC.”
— China Rahman
General Secretary of the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC)
“The RSC’s model of trade unions, the industry and brands driving workplace safety together, through a transparent, competent and efficient organization on the ground, is ambitious and best in class. A lot has been accomplished but there is also a lot more still to be done.”
— Masarrat Quader Syeda
Regional Public Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement Manager, H&M Group, based in Bangladesh (covering Africa and Asia)
Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin
Former President BGMEA and industry representative on the RSC Board of Directors
Masarrat Quader Syeda
Brand Representative on the RSC Board of Directors
Amirul Haque Amin
President NGWF and Trade Union Representative on the RSC Board of Directors
Former President BGMEA and industry representative on the RSC Board of Directors
Joachim Leo Juette Overmeyer
Senior Advisor and Legal Counsel, Otto Group and Brand Representative on the RSC Board of Directors
Textile and Garment Industry Director, IndustriAll and Trade Union Representative on the RSC Board of Directors
Director, Better Work, ILO and Neutral Convener of the RSC
Iqbal M Hussain
Iqbal M Hussain joined the RSC as the inaugural Managing Director and Acting Chief Safety Officer (ACSO) in September 2020.
Born in Bangladesh, brought up and educated in the UK, Mr. Hussain is an MBA-qualified Chartered Engineer who brings more than 20 years' experience to the role. He joins the RSC from an international retailer where he has spent the past five years developing, leading and executing the company’s Global Structural Integrity Programme, a pioneering programme which seeks to improve worker safety by ensuring building integrity through factory inspections and remediation.
Md. Asiful Hoque
Mohammad Momanul Islam
Palash Kumar Mondal
Technical Operation Manager
Mohammed Ashraful Hoque
Kaniz Fatema Labony
Md. Reajul Islam
Manager Office Operations
Business Financial Controller
Robeul Haque Rana
Head of IT
Nuzhat Bushra Shejuti
Data Management Specialist
A. J. M. Zobaidur Rahman
Media & Communications Manager
Head of Occupational Safety & Health Complaints Mechanism
Shamama Naushin Yamani
Head of Safety Committee and Safety Training
Head of Remediation Case Handler
Mohammed Ahsan Ullah
Acting Head of Structural Safety Engineer
S.M. Hasanul Banna Kasemi
Head of Electrical Engineering
Head of Fire & Life Safety
Acting Head of Boiler Safety Programme