The taskforce constituted by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) to ensure occupational fire safety compliance in all apparel units of the country, has launched its inspection drive.
The task force was constituted by BGMEA with an aim to prevent reoccurrence of incidences like the last month’s distressing fire incident at Ashulia-based Tazreen Fashions Ltd, wherein 112 workers lost their lives.
The taskforce having five members each from the Labour Ministry, fire service, Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB) and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), has BGMEA President as its convener.
As a part of its plan to inspect 10 factories within this week, the taskforce inspected four factories on the first day of its inspection drive. Based on its visits during this week, the taskforce would then decide the norms for inspection of other factories.
Calling on all the factory owners, buyers and the government agencies to support the initiative, BGMEA President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said that so far factory owners complied with norms under pressure from buyers, but now they look forward to ensure compliance to ensure safety of their workers.
He said it is proposed that the taskforce team would visit all factories to generate awareness regarding fire safety norms amongst workers and employers. Further, upon inspection if any discrepancies are found, the team would suggest some short, medium and long term measures to ensure safety in those factories.
The factory owners would then be given a reasonable time for implementing necessary changes for upgrading safety standards. However, BGMEA would initiate strict action in the event of any factory owner failing to comply with the norms even after the elapse of sufficient time.