The Financial Express

Govt launches labour safety inspection for construction sector

1,196 workers lost lives between 2005 and 2016

— FE file photo — FE file photo

The government has launched special labour inspection programme in the country's construction sector to ensure safety and prevent accidents, officials said.

The Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) under the labour ministry issued an office order on November 19, announcing the assessment programme along with its regular safety inspection in other sectors.

The special inspection would be conducted on the 20th and 21st of each month, according to the instruction.

Under the programme, a total of 160 construction sites would be assessed by some 19 labour inspectors within next February, DIFE officials added. The inspectors received training on construction sites from Danish Working Environment Authority.

"We have introduced the particular move to inspect construction sites taking the safety issues into special consideration," DIFE deputy inspector general Ahmed Helal said.

A checklist has also been developed in this regard, he said, adding that through the move, safety awareness could be created among the workers and owners of the construction sites.

The checklists include general information about construction sites with name, address, its kind-residential, commercial, industrial or other, information about the site owners, registration or licence number and their status of renewal, information about fire and electrical approval certificates.

The inspectors will also collect information about workers, including foreigner ones, approval of building construction designs, precautionary height and electrical safety measures, according to the checklist.

According to Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS), some 61 people were died and 55 other injured in the construction sector accidents from January to June of 2019.

According to Occupational Safety, Health, and Environment (OSHE), some 1,196 construction workers lost their lives between 2005 and 2016, with 179 deaths reported in 2017 alone from falling, electrocution and stuck between objects.

Some 163 construction workers died in 2018, it showed, indicating low safety management in the construction sites.

The construction sector labours are also deprived of the basic facilities and rights, according to right groups.

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