The government is planning to undertake a project costing around Tk200-250 crore to launch safety inspection in factories other than the RMG ones to ensure workplace safety.
Senior Secretary of Labour and Employment Mikail Shipar made the announcement on Thursday during a press conference ahead of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, which will be observed today.
This year’s theme for the day is “Optimise the collection and use of Occupational Safety and Health data.”
Bangladesh is observing the day for the second time, although it has been observed by the International Labour Organisation around the world since 2003.
State Minister for Labour and Employment Md Mujibul Haque presided over the press conference, where speakers discussed workplace safety and health issues in the country.
“Our Labour Act is comprehensive and applicable for all industrial sectors, not just the RMG sector,” said Shipar.
The RMG industry of Bangladesh is worth $28 billion and employs nearly four million people.
Because it is such an important industry for the country, the focus regarding workplace safety has been entirely on this sector, especially since the Rana Plaza disaster, he said.
“But now we are focusing on other sectors – i.e. chemical factories, shipping industry, etc – as well. A proposal on this project will be placed before the government soon,” he added.
The project will especially focus on the manufacturing units that use boiler, as there have been a number of accidents involving factory boilers in recent times.
State Minister Mujibul said there are about 8.3 million manufacturing units that are contributing to the country’s economic development.
“We are working to ensure workplace safety and health in non-RMG factories as well, especially the vulnerable ones, because workplace safety is a right under the law of the country,” the state minister said.