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Bangladesh gets national plan on fire safety
Jul '13
The Government of Bangladesh and representatives of Bangladesh employers’ and workers’ organizations signed an integrated National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety and Structural Integrity in the garment Sector of Bangladesh (NTPA).

The integrated NTPA was signed at a tripartite meeting at the Ministry of Labour and Employment on Thursday, by Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Mikail Shipar, BEF President, Mr. Md. Fazlul Hoque, BGMEA Vice President (Finance), Mr. Reaz-Bin-Mahmood, BKMEA First Vice President, Mr. Mohammad Hatem, NCCWE Chairman Mr. Sukkur Mahmud and IBC Secretary-General, Mr. Roy Ramesh Chandra.

The plan brings together the National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety in the RMG Sector signed on March 24, 2013 in response to the Tazreen factory fire and the Joint Tripartite Statement adopted on May 4 in the wake of the Rana Plaza tragedy.

Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Mikail Shipar said “It is vital that we address fire safety and structural integrity in a coordinated manner. This plan of action brings together two sets of important commitments by the Government and employers and workers organisations, which will consolidate the momentum for improvements in RMG factory safety in Bangladesh.”

The integrated NTPA identifies activities that the tripartite partners agree fall within their individual and/or collective responsibility and need to be implemented to ensure an integrated approach to promoting fire safety and building integrity in Bangladesh, in particular in the ready-made garment sector.

The plan sets out legislation and policy, administrative and practical activities, as well as the respective partner(s) responsible for the implementation of the activities, and a timeframe for implementation. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has been requested to assist in the implementation and coordination of the new NTPA.

“We welcome this endorsement of the integrated National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety and Structural Integrity, which will be the main framework document for improving working conditions in the garment industry in Bangladesh. It is another important step in our progression towards improving worker safety in the RMG sector in Bangladesh,” said Srinivas B. Reddy, Director of the ILO Office in Dhaka.

Key activities identified in the integrated NTPA include assessment of the structural integrity and fire safety of RMG factory buildings, strengthening labour inspection, worker and management training and awareness of occupational safety and health and worker rights and rehabilitation of disabled workers.

Implementation of these activities will be monitored by a High-Level Tripartite Committee, which will be chaired by the Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment. The Committee will review and update the Plan of Action as necessary, including for activities to be carried out this year and in 2014 and 15; and develop ways through which other stakeholders can support implementation of - and coordination with - the integrated NTPA.

The ILO has developed a 3 year programme on Improving Working Conditions in the Ready-Made Garment Sector to support implementation of the NTPA.

International Labour Organization

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