The government, for the first time, on Saturday awarded 10 readymade garment factories for their best practices of occupational health and safety in the factories.
State minister for labour Mujibul Haque handed over the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Good Practice Award to the representatives of the factories at a ceremony on the occasion of National Day on Occupational Safety and Health at Krishibid Institution in the city.
The factories are: Wisdom Attires, Fakir Fashion, Knit Concern, Hop Lun Apparels, Square Fashion, Snowtex Outwear, Ecotext, Tarashimo Apparels, Vielatex and AKH Eco Apparels.
Mujibul Haque said this year the government introduced OSH Good Practice award for the first time to recognise business owners who have made proactive efforts to ensure the welfare of employees.
He said that only awareness could reduce workplace accidents and it would not possible for the government to ensure safety through inspecting 83 lakh establishments across the country.
‘We remember those who have lost their lives in Rana Plaza building collapse and we also recognize the considerable efforts which have been made to enhance occupational safety in Bangladesh,’ Canadian high commissioner in Dhaka Benoit Préfontaine said.
Just after the Rana plaza building collapse the government of Canada, UK and Netherlands decided to support Bangladesh to enhance occupational safety in the RMG sector and provide support to ILO for adopting a project in the sector in collaboration with the Bangladesh government, he said.
Benoit said many of the factories in Savar and Gazipur manufacture products and supply to Canada, UK and Netherlands and the customers of the countries are always aware about the workers’ rights in the factories from where the products are sourced.
Bangladesh Employers’ Federation president Kamran T Rahman said industry people would have to take necessary measures to prevent devastating accidents.
Safe working condition is a must for both the workers and owners as if the entrepreneurs fail to ensure workplace safety, uninterrupted production process could not be ensured, he said.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Md Siddiqur Rahman said that not only workers, factory owners would also be looser if the safe working condition was not ensured in the industry.
Bangladesh has made significant progress in terms of workers’ safety in the readymade garment sector but a few local and international organisations have remained engaged in negative campaign, he claimed.
Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Salim Osman said that workers were the main strength of the RMG sector of Bangladesh.
‘Despite having no raw materials and machinery we are the second largest apparel exporter in the world due to the strength of the workers,’ he said.
Salim hoped that the global share of Bangladesh in exporting RMG would be 25 per cent by 2021 from existing 6 per cent.
Gagan Rajbhandari, officer-in-charge of ILO Bangladesh office, commended Bangladesh government, employers and workers organisations, the fire service, Accord and Alliance for their proactive approach to build a culture of workplace safety in Bangladesh.
He stressed for continuation of the practice for the sustainable industrial sector in Bangladesh.
Labour Secretary Afroza Khan and inspector general of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan, among others spoke at the programme.
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