On September 11, 2012 a fire occurred in a textile plant owned by Ali Enterprises in Baldia Town, Karachi, Pakistan.
RINA conducted a two-stage audit of the Ali Enterprises premises according to SA8000, a voluntary standard for auditable third-party verification, that encourages organizations to develop a management system ensuring socially acceptable practices in the workplace. The audit was satisfactory. When RINA conducted the audit, the company was compliant with the SA8000 standard. Evidence collected following the fire would suggest that at the time of the fire the situation at Ali Enterprises was no longer in compliance with the SA8000 standard, as assessed by RINA two months prior to the incident.
RINA Services’ role and features of the SA8000 certification
Prior to the fire, Ali Enterprises held a SA8000 certificate for the plant in Baldia Town that had been issued by RINA Services.
To award the SA8000 certification, RINA is accredited by SAAS (Social Accountability Accreditation Services), which refers to SAI (Social Accountability International), a non-profit organisation that represents the main stakeholders of the SA8000 system.
The certification of the management system is based on periodic audits and sample verifications.
Pictures taken after the fire, together with an analysis of the company’s actions prior to the fire, would appear to show a substantial difference between the conditions at the time of the fire when compared with the conditions at the time of audit, which occurred about two months prior.
Immediate facts and consequences
After the event, RINA conducted an internal review together with the accreditation body, SAAS. RINA still holds its accreditation and continues its certification business worldwide.
The fire at the Ali Enterprises has been, and still is, the subject of administrative and legal investigations.
Documents, including the audit report, cannot be released for legal reasons.
With reference to the conclusion of the conciliation attempt promoted by the National Contact Point (NCP):