Bangladesh RMG industry is advancing positively. Safety in workplace is a major priority for the industry. A training program has been launched for some eight lakh readymade garment workers in Bangladesh. This training is expected to contribute greatly to that goal as both workers and employers will benefit from improved safety practices. In Bangladesh the readymade garment industry accounts for 80 per cent of exports and, as a result, is of paramount importance to the economic health of the country. Despite its economic importance, or perhaps because of it, enforcement of building codes for factories has historically been lax, leading to an entire industry rife with unsafe working conditions.
The lack of fire safety was well known due to a long record of fatal factory fires, including a fire in late 2012 that killed 112 workers. By early 2013, several international retailers with supply chains based in Bangladesh factories had already embarked on fire inspection programs, but until the Rana Plaza tragedy no one considered structural safety to be a fundamental concern.