Labour inspectors trained on follow ups to inspections
At a workshop held in Dhaka on Nov 25, the need for a systematic and comprehensive follow up of fire and structural inspections of apparel factories by the Department of Inspections of Factories and Establishments (DIFE) was stressed.
The workshop on ‘Case management and follow up to the structural building and fire safety assessment of RMG factories’ was hosted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) as part of its ‘Improving Working Conditions in the RMG sector’ programme.
The workshop was attended by some 30 DIFE inspectors who were also joined by technical specialists from the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety and Bangladesh University for Engineering and Technology (BUET).
The Accord and Alliance, which represent the international brands and retailers sourcing from Bangladesh, shared best practices with the DIFE inspectors on how they can ensure that RMG factories put into place the remediation steps identified by inspections.
“The Department of Inspections of Factories and Establishments has been considerably strengthened since the Rana Plaza collapse in terms of personnel, budget and training,” said Srinivas B. Reddy, ILO Country Director for Bangladesh.
He added, “However, equally important is the establishment of internal management processes to effectively follow up on the findings of fire and structural inspections in a systematic, comprehensive and transparent manner in respect of every single factory.
“This is a vital step in addressing immediate safety concerns as well as preparing DIFE to take on greater long-term responsibility for compliance and regulatory oversight within the RMG industry.
“Each inspector needs to take responsibility for a specified number of factories so that there is systematic follow up on implementation of the BUET findings and recommendations while accountability is clearly fixed.
“Looking to the future, a similar process will also need to be undertaken with the Fire Service and Civil Defence Department and RAJUK in view of their important role relating to fire and building safety and the large number of factories to be monitored.”
Areas looked at during the workshop included appointment of case handlers for each factory, the remediation systems currently used by Accord and Alliance, the prioritization of issues requiring immediate or less urgent follow up, workflows and the management of factory ‘case loads’ by inspectors.
Following the collapse of the Rana Plaza in April 2013 efforts were immediately launched to inspect all 3,500 RMG factories throughout Bangladesh for fire and structural safety and by the end of November 2014 some 60 per cent had been inspected by the Accord, Alliance and BUET. (AR)
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India