Locked Exits Contributed to Bangladesh Factory Fire's Death Toll

Exit doors of the eight-story building were locked, and its owner claims he was never advised to install emergency exits.

The fire that killed 112 people last week inside a warehouse in Bangladesh filled with apparel for companies including Wal-Mart, Sears, and Disney was so deadly because the exit doors were locked. The owner of the building has said he was not even aware that he needed to have an emergency exit sign.

"It was my fault. But nobody told me that there was no emergency exit, which could be made accessible from outside," Delwar Hossain told The Daily Star newspaper. "Nobody even advised me to install one like that, apart from the existing ones."

The factory was owned by Tazreen Fashions Ltd. and made clothing for many brands. More than 1,400 workers were trapped in the eight-story building when the fire broke out. Local police are investigating the cause of the fire and whether it could have prevented. Three managers are being investigated on allegations of negligence.

Wal-Mart representatives said the company received notification that the factory was a high safety risk and had ceased using Tazreen to manufacture, but a supplier continued to use the factory without authorization. On Dec. 4, Wal-Mart ceased business with the factory completely.

More than 300 people in Bangladesh have been killed in similar clothing factory fires during the past six years.

Download Center

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2021

    October 2021

    Featuring:

    • TRAINING
      On Route To Safe Material Handling
    • SAFETY CULTURE
      Normalization of Deviations in Performance
    • IH:INDOOR AIR QUALITY
      Arresting Fugitive Dusts
    • PPE:FOOT PROTECTION
      Safety Shoes Make the Outfit for Well-Protected Workers
    View This Issue