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No progress without worker safety

  • Published at 02:55 pm November 16th, 2017
  • Last updated at 08:12 pm November 17th, 2017
No progress without worker safety

The RMG industry fetches billions for the country every year in foreign currency, and forms the backbone of our dynamic exporting sector.

That is why it is such a shame that, in recent times, the sector has been plagued by concerns over worker safety.

The concerns have been completely legitimate -- the Rana Plaza collapse was one of the worst industrial disasters in memory, and an event no one can, or should, ever forget.

Rana Plaza brought to light the need for garment factories to improve their safety standards, and four years on, it is good to see that significant progress has been made in that regard.

The latest progress report of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety shows that 85% of all safety upgrades required to prevent possible structural, electrical, or fire-induced damages have already been completed.

This is no small matter, as overhauling safety in hundred of factories across the country is a tremendously complex undertaking, and as the executive director of Alliance has said, accomplishing this in such a short time is something to be proud of.

Factories in Bangladesh are now much safer than they were back in 2013, when the world was horrified by the Rana Plaza collapse that took nearly 1,200 lives.

Not all the corrective action plans have been met fully at this point, but we are on track to do so.

Ultimately, prioritising worker safety is not simply the right thing to do -- if we wish to improve our image and our brand to the rest of the world, it is absolutely essential.