Twenty special teams have begun inspecting readymade garment manufacturing units in Bangladesh with respect to their compliance of the necessary safety standards.
The inspection teams have been set up by the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) and overall 40 inspectors will work under the supervision of a chief inspector.
The move of setting up inspection teams came after the South Asian nation witnessed two devastating fire incidents – the Tazreen Fashions incident in November 2012 followed by last week’s blaze at the Smart Export Garment Ltd.
While the Tazreen mishap at Ashulia off Dhaka city claimed lives of 112 workers and injured several others, the Smart Export accident resulted in the death of seven women workers.
The inspection units are tasked with monitoring all garment manufacturing units in three months time. The chief inspector has been given the authority to temporarily close a factory if serious faults are found in its compliance of safety standards.
During their visit to apparel units, the inspection teams will carry a checklist that includes appropriate licenses, approval of building and factory layout designs, number of staircases, exit points, fire prevention measures, life insurance for workers, electrical safety measures, etc.
In addition, the MoLE has also issued a circular asking all clothing factory owners to replace collapsible gates by new ones that can be easily opened from outside, by February 10, 2013.