Teaching Note | HBS Case Collection | January 2014 (Revised February 2014)

Rana Plaza: Workplace Safety In Bangladesh (A) and (B)

by John A. Quelch and Margaret L. Rodriguez


On April 24, 2013 the Rana Plaza factory building collapsed in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Over 1,100 people were killed in the worst industrial accident since the Union Carbide plant gas leak in Bhopal, India. Most of the victims worked for garment factories, whose primary clients were European, US and Canadian firms. Export contracts to such firms had helped Bangladesh become the world's second largest clothing exporter. Rana Plaza was not the first tragedy to occur in Bangladesh's garment industry, and without intervention, more might follow. International brand owners, domestic and foreign governments, labor unions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), stepped up to discuss their responsibilities for improving conditions for Bangladeshi garment workers.

Keywords: Safety; Multinational Firms and Management; Labor Unions; Business and Stakeholder Relations; Working Conditions; Corporate Accountability; Crisis Management; Manufacturing Industry; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Bangladesh;


Quelch, John A., and Margaret L. Rodriguez. "Rana Plaza: Workplace Safety In Bangladesh (A) and (B)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 514-062, January 2014. (Revised February 2014.)