Nirapon is an industry-led nonprofit organization that collaborates with global brands and retailers. Factories can encourage their customers and buyers to become Nirapon members, enabling the factories to participate in Nirapon’s safety programs.
Nirapon does not conduct audits at our members’ supplying factories. Instead Nirapon works to create and sustain a culture of workplace safety through educational programming. We use education and capability-building—not enforcement—to change the hearts and minds of factory owners, managers, and workers so safety becomes an integral part of daily operations. If your factory would like to participate in Nirapon programming, encourage your brand partner(s) to pursue Nirapon membership.
Nirapon does not certify factories. However, we do share a list of the factories that participate in Nirapon’s Safety Management Program via the Open Supply Hub. This platform allows anyone to search through records to see which factories are participating in the Nirapon program
Nirapon is a member-led organization.
Our 55+ members—including global apparel brands, retailers, and manufacturers—share a common goal of maintaining safety standards and management systems in their supplying factories in Bangladesh. Together, Nirapon members leverage the power of the industry to improve workplace safety in Bangladesh.
We take a holistic approach to supporting all factories.
Nirapon works with our members and their supplying factories to help bolster and maintain their commitment to investing in safety solutions. Nirapon also works with service providers to provide a holistic approach to supporting factory safety.
We help our member companies support and effect change at the factory level.
Nirapon provides safety information that helps our members work with their factories to effect required change. Nirapon also provides appropriate technical and risk-management guidance to support factories in making necessary changes to manage hazards and risks as part of their usual factory work and processes, as opposed to technical engineering work. In all factories, including those that are CAP closed, there is a need to continually maintain machinery, systems, and engineered safety solutions. This requires that factories employ specialist engineers for areas of specialist maintenance such as boilers, electrical systems etc.
We provide education, not enforcement.
Nirapon is solution-oriented and focuses on educating rather than penalizing factories. We believe this approach helps factories feel more open to admitting uncertainty and seeking guidance, which results in more factories adopting appropriate safety solutions.
In order to support our members as they form partnerships with new factories and promote safe and sustainable growth in Bangladesh factories, Nirapon supports some factories that are not yet CAP closed. These are predominantly new factories or those that have carried over from the Alliance (the previous iteration of our organization).
Under our supervision and oversight, these factories are managed by ELEVATE, an LRQA company, undergo training with BRAC, and subscribe to the Amader Kotha Helpline, which is the process to achieve CAP closure. Once CAP-closed, the factory joins the Nirapon Safety Management Program. However, it is important to understand that a CAP closure is a snapshot in time, as well as being the startline of safety. A factory that does not carry out routine preventive maintenance and hasn’t got a safety management program in place, will not sustain the gains made in achieving CAP closure. A factory will quickly decline if not maintained and if the workforce does not interact with the workplace in a safe way.
Not directly, no. However, when examining labor issues, we need to also examine the cause of the issue, which is almost always safety related. For example, if a worker is being verbally abused we need to look at why, what is motivating that behavior. That is where the safety issues will then be found. It is the same with calls such as workers not being paid. That could mean that the factory has financial difficulties, which in turn means that machinery, equipment or engineered safety solutions such as fire alarm systems or fire doors are not being maintained. There will also be a drive to produce, at the cost of safety in such cases. Because Nirapon does not audit, but rather provides educational support to factories, we must look at cause and effect, so that we can first understand, before we can work with factories to prevent future recurrence.
Nirapon’s partner the Amader Kotha Helpline reports all calls to the Helpline including those categorized as labor calls to Nirapon and the relevant members at the factory. Nirapon then provides a report following a submission from the factory and the Helpline to assist members by providing guidance on how such an event may be prevented in future, that is the events that led to the action resulting in a labor call. All factories involved in Nirapon programs must subscribe to the Helpline, and all workers at those factories are issued with a card with the Helpline telephone number.
The Helpline receives a wide range of safety and labor-related calls. In the case of labor issues, the Helpline will work with the factory to gather all available information from both the caller and management (protecting callers’ identity). Whenever possible, workers are encouraged to seek a resolution with managers. When this is not possible, the Helpline will provide support including ascertaining any solution generated by factory management. Nirapon will then build upon that information to support an educative process with the factory via the relevant members who are informed and, when required, work with the factory to resolve the issue.
When possible, the members supported by Nirapon and the Helpline will work to seek a resolution, educate managers and the caller to better manage these situations and prevent recurrence, and maintain positive industrial relations in the workplace.
Nirapon operates outside of Bangladesh. After checking the website and the FAQ’s, you may contact us for additional questions .