Report raps European fire safety

09 Sep 2013

European supply chains are lagging behind their counterparts in Africa on fire health and safety compliance, it has been revealed.

A report carried out by the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange found that some supply chains in Europe have the highest level of factory fire risk in the world.

The findings, reported by the Financial Times, revealed that 13.5% of supply chains in Europe fail to comply with the correct safety measures, compared to 6.6% in Africa.

However the figures for North America (11%), South America (11.8%) and Asia (12.7%) were not much better than those in Europe, with Asia coming under particular scrutiny following a number of devastating factory fires in the past year.

Romania was found to have the highest proportion of fire safety problems, with Portugal, the US, the Czech Republic and Italy following closely behind.

A lack of fire escape signs, emergency lighting, blocked aisles, inadequate fire-fighting equipment and out-of-date fire safety certificates were the main offences committed across all countries in the survey.

"Investors need to understand that such risks and hazards do not take place only in developing countries. They must take a proactive stance and engage with companies in all areas," Mark Robertson, a spokesman for the supply chain consultancy firm Sedex, told the FT.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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