The Financial Express

'Many industrial units flout workplace safety'

| Updated: October 20, 2021 14:41:19

Photo- ILO Photo- ILO

Despite having a state watchdog, many local industrial units do not comply with workplace safety measures mainly due to poor coordination among regulators, speakers told a programme on Tuesday.

Bangladesh accommodates many a globally-acclaimed green factory. But frequent accidents are taking place in local industrial units in contrast, they say.

Considering this, an integrated factory inspection and monitoring team, led by the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), has been formed.

The speakers were addressing a training session for integrated factory inspection and monitoring teams hosted at BIDA headquarters in Agargaon area.

Prime minister's private industry and investment adviser Salman Fazlur attended the function as the chief guest with labour and employment secretary Ehsan E Elahi in the chair.

BIDA executive chairman Md Sirazul Islam, Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments inspector general Md Nasir Uddin Ahmed, Security Services Division secretary Mohammad Mokabbir Hossain and FBCCI president Md Jashim Uddin attended as special guests.

Speaking on the occasion, Salman Rahman said the fire in Shezan Juice Factory in Narayanganj in July drew the government's attention to achieve the desired level of workplace safety.

"We've achieved a commendable position with the compliance of many export-oriented apparel factories. But why don't we get success at all other industrial units?" he questioned.

Alongside the government, he says, the private sector should make every endeavour to ensure industrial safety in this regard.

"The lessons and experiences from the establishment of green apparel factories can help with the new initiative," he adds.

Teams comprising representatives from 15 government agencies would do inspection and monitoring, he cited.

On the government's Covid-19 vaccination programme, the adviser said 30 per cent of the population or 50-60 million would be jabbed by this December.

Citing success in inoculation, he said: "Unlike many other countries, the government of Bangladesh has been implementing the programmes all by itself."

Hailing the government, he said the Covid-induced death toll in Bangladesh has been much lower than that in countries like India and the USA.

BIDA chair Mr Islam said the inspection teams' responsibility would be to detect and report faults, not to force the factories to become compliant.

"Our aim is not to create panic among the non-RMG factories, but to make them aware of safety and security," he remarked. Garment and export-oriented industries aside, around 46,000 factories and commercial facilities from various sectors have been identified for inspection.

Initially, a total of 27 teams have been formed for Dhaka, Narayanganj and Gazipur districts to inspect 5,000 factories.

Some 251 members of the teams joined the programme. Software is being developed to organise the entire inspection work and prepare a database.

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