May 14, 2013 at 5:49 PM ET
Wal-Mart Stores said on Tuesday that it would conduct in-depth safety inspections at all 279 Bangladesh factories with which it works and publicly release the names and inspection information, as pressure mounts on retailers to ensure worker safety after April's deadly building collapse.
Wal-Mart said it would also have Bureau Veritas provide fire safety training for every worker in every factory in Bangladesh that produces its goods. Bureau Veritas is a European testing and inspection company that, on behalf of Wal-Mart, assesses factories and trains workers in Bangladesh.
Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, began more rigorous inspections earlier this year after more than 110 people were killed in a November 2012 fire in a factory that was producing goods for Wal-Mart and other retailers.
Wal-Mart said the inspections would be completed in the next six months and that it would begin posting inspection results on June 1.
"Transparency is vital to make progress in improving factory conditions, and by disclosing this information, government, workers, non-governmental agencies, and companies can benefit from this work," Rajan Kamalanathan, Wal-Mart's vice president of ethical sourcing, said in a statement.
Wal-Mart has not yet said whether it would sign onto a Bangladesh fire and building safety accord drawn up by labor groups including Europe's IndustriALL and UNI Global Union and non-governmental organizations. Those groups have set a May 15 deadline for retailers to sign on.
Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters.