800,000 RMG workers to benefit from occupational safety training

The photo shows employees busy at RMG factory. Some 800,000 ready-made garment workers across Bangladesh are set to benefit from an occupational safety and health training programme that was launched in the capital yesterday. Courtesy: BGMEA
Some 800,000 ready-made garment workers across Bangladesh are set to benefit from an occupational safety and health training programme that was launched in the capital.

State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque Chunnu said safety in the workplace is major priority for the government.
“This training will contribute greatly to that goal as both workers and employers will benefit from improved safety practices,” he said.
The course, entitled the Essentials of Occupational Safety and Health (EOSH), is an innovative training package developed by the International Labour Organisation’s International Training Centre in Turin. It is being delivered by the Bangladesh Employers Federation (BEF) with the support of the ILO with funding from Canada, the Netherlands and United Kingdom.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) are also supporting the training.
The launch marks the third phase of an initiative that has seen a core group of 114 master trainers from BEF, BGMEA, BKMEA and RMG factories train 8,038 RMG managers and supervisors in occupational safety and health.
In the latest phase, this group will now go on and build awareness of key OSH issues.
The training for workers covers seven priority areas for the RMG sector namely: fire safety; electrical safety; trips, slips, falls and good housekeeping; dangerous substances; ergonomics; personal protective equipment and first aid.
Speaking at the opening, ILO Country Director Srinivas Reddy reemphasised the recent comments of ILO Director General Guy Ryder who in the aftermath of the recent Tampaco Foils fire highlighted that there could be no room for complacency and the need to create a stronger culture of preventative safety in all industrial sectors.
Golam Mainuddin, vice president, Bangladesh Employers’ Federation said, “A safe work environment is a priority issue for the Bangladesh Employers’ Federation. All parties should work together to implement occupational safety and health measures at the work place in accordance with the related laws and provisions of the country.”
In addition to the EOSH training, the initiative will also see 585 company representatives oriented on the formation of Safety Committees at factory level. The goal is to establish 110 functioning Safety Committees at company level by January 2017.
During the event the first two modules of an ‘Occupational Safety and Health kit’ that the government is developing in collaboration with ILO were also launched. Covering the areas of managing safety and health, and establishing Safety Committees, the modules form part of an ‘OSH kit’ to be distributed to all RMG factories. This will provide guidance and support to newly formed Safety Committees to help them function effectively.
Also taking part in the launch
were Benoit-Pierre Larmee High Commissioner, High Commission of Canada; Siddiqur Rahman, president of BGMEA, Mansoor Ahmed, 2nd vice president of BKMEA and Abdul Mukit Khan, representing the National Coordination Committee for Worker’s Education.
Following the launch of the EOSH programme a stakeholder consultation also took place on ILO’s Decent Work Country Programme for Bangladesh (2016-2020). Decent Work Country Programmes are the main vehicle for delivery of ILO support to countries. Each DWCP is organised around a limited number of country programme priorities and outcomes. These are further detailed in an implementation plan.