LAHORE – The textile readymade garment sector is seeking a long-term collaboration of some credible international safety certifications providing companies for audit of its member companies’ policies, procedures and documentation, to ensure a safe workplace.

PRGMEA Central chairman Sajid Saleem Minhas while addressing the central executive committee meeting of the association, held here at PRGMEA North Office, observed that Association is engaged in talks and plans to ink agreements with some global compliance certification companies to hire their services for the audit of all its members.

He also mentioned that Association is endeavoring to ensure hundred per cent safety compliance to avoid any untoward incident in future.

He said that following the international buyers’ concerns over credibility of Pakistani garment groups due to devastating inferno at a Karachi factory, PRGMEA has decided to make audit for every member company compulsory with a view to grant it international safety certifications.

In this way Pakistani exporters can satisfy international buyers that strong measures are being taken to avoid fire tragedies in future, he pointed out.

Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association central chairman said that protection of workers’ health and safety is a fundamental right world over, stressing the need for avoiding fire incidents, as it may also lead to restrictions on Pakistani exports from the international buyers.  He said that PRGMEA has already launched awareness campaign in this regard immediately after the fire tragedy in Karachi.

For this purpose, he said, the PRGMEA, in collaboration with Accordia Global Compliance Group and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), has already held a workshop to enable the whole textile value-added sector to be certified with the social and safety compliance so that to the Pakistani exports USA and European Union may not be affected. During this month another workshop with SGS is planned at the associations Lahore training center PRGTTI. The association has an open invitation from WRAP to visit their USA headquarters to ink an MOU to establish a center of excellence at the two association institutes in Lahore and Karachi. Further the PRGMEA delegation will visit the offices of the major customers in the USA to allay their fears regarding health and safety compliances at garment factories in Pakistan.

PRGMEA Central chairman said that there is need to change the mind set as importance of fire and safety cannot be overlooked. He also added that with a view to avoid such incidences in future, the focus of the industry should be the implementation of fire and safety rules and regulation by taking adequate measures for ensuring safety of their workers at their facilities to comply with the social and other requirements of their customers.