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HO CHI MINH - The latest report by Better Work Vietnam (BWV) suggests that non-compliance with fire safety regulations remains "persistently high" in the country's rapidly expanding garment manufacturing sector. The report looked at fire safety issues in 58 factories and found that half of them remain non-compliant in terms of accessibility of fire exits, which were found to be blocked or locked during working hours. All the factories in the report have been assessed by Better Work Vietnam at least four times over the past four years and the latest figures suggest progress on this critical issue has actually deteriorated since assessment first began.

In another finding which had worrying echoes of the Rana Plaza disaster, it was found that more than a third of factories were found to be lacking clearly marked exits and escape routes in the latest two visits by Better Work, while more than 30 per cent did not maintain electrical equipment, and more than a quarter still lack adequate fire-fighting equipment.

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