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Challenges dog workers' safety in Bangladesh factories
Jan '16
Bangladesh faces a host of challenges including remediation financing for the readymade garment industry, computerised registration, accurate lists and data of factories and establishments and strong coordination among inspection authorities to ensure workplace safety, according to a report by the Labor and Employment Ministry's Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishment (DIFE). titled “Labour Inspection System in Bangladesh.”

“There is no scope of second Rana Plaza incident as we have inspected all factories and closed 37 factories among them, which were found risky to workers safety,” State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu said in Dhaka while releasing report titled “Labour Inspection System in Bangladesh.”

The Minister said that the DIFE has closed down 37 factories after it was found that they were not adhering to safety standards for workers.

The DIFE inspected a total of 24,107 RMG factories, shops and other organisations in 2014, where it found 44,347 cases of violation of rules in safety, occupational health, maternity protection, terms and conditions, said the report.

Most of the violations were found in the non-RMG factories. “There are some factories with risk factors. They are going through remediation,” Mujibul said.

The Minister said the government has given importance to the inspection of safety issues in the RMG sector after the Rana Plaza incident because over 81 per cent export earnings came from the sector.

He warned that RMG factories owners won't be able to escape workers' rights after the Labour Act had been amended. Mujibul also urged buyers to increase prices of products as the manufacturers had to spent a lot to improve safety standards.

To ensure the occupational health safety and providing treatment, the government has taken initiative to establish two hospitals in Gazipur and Narayanganj with capacity of 300 bed facilities each, the minister said.

“The challenges for ensuring workers' safety are to develop accurate lists and data on factories and establishments as we cannot take measures if do not have the pin-point information about the sector,” Syed Ahmed Inspector General of DIFE said in his key note presentation.

Other major challenges are remediation financing for the RMG and strong coordination among inspection authorities as it needs holistic approach, the report said. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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