Industrial police and the local administration will help the committees perform their duties
The Ministry of Labour yesterday set up 23 crisis management committees to monitor compliance of health and safety regulations in factories that are going to operate amid the weeklong lockdown.
Industrial police and the local administration will help the committees perform their duties.
Labour Secretary KM Abdus Salam said with the help of the International Labour Organization (ILO), they have developed a complete guideline on compliance with health codes in the factories to prevent Covid-19.
“It is an international standard guideline and the factories have to follow this strictly,” he added.
Moreover, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) have prepared separate protocols, as has the Department of Health, he said.
“So, all protocols and guidelines have to be applied together to ensure the highest health and safety of the workers,” Salam added.
“We have formed 23 crisis management committees covering 64 districts to monitor the hygiene norms. If the factories do not follow health rules properly, committees will take action against the factory as per the labour law,” the secretary further said.
The BGMEA has insisted on setting separate shifts for workers from different departments to avoid crowding, separate buses for distant workers, and treatment of coronavirus-affected workers at hospitals near the factories.
AM Chowdhury Selim, the just-departed vice president of BGMEA, said: “We will take strong security measures to ensure the health norms as per our guidelines. Workers' safety is our highest concern.
“The number of coronavirus infected cases in our sector is less than 1%. This has been possible only by ensuring effective safety measures,” he added.
Earlier yesterday, the crisis management committee held a virtual meeting to address the labour situation.
State Minister of Labour Begum Mannujan Sufian presided over the meeting and the representatives of the factory owners who informed about the steps taken to protect the health of workers.
The government has issued a gazette notification announcing a set of restrictions to be followed during the nationwide weeklong strict lockdown starting from April 14 to curb the staggering Covid-19 surge.
But factory owners demanded to keep the industries open during the strict lockdown.
The government agreed to let factories remain open on the condition that hygiene rules will be followed strictly and transportation will be arranged for the workers.