Workplace Safety

Bangladesh is now known to the world as a model for workplace safety in the garment industry. Our industry has been praised both locally and globally for achievement in workplace safety. Three safety platforms—Accord, Alliance and National Initiative – were initiated by global brands, the Government and ILO to ensure safety of the apparel sector. More than 3800 export-oriented garment factories have been inspected for building, fire and electrical safety and recommended safety repairs where necessary. Moreover, the inspection and remediation reports are posted in a publicly accessible websites, making the changes transparent and credible. The Alliance program has been wrapped up in December 2018 after successfully completing factory remediation works. The Accord program is now in the transition phase.

To sustain the progress, capacity of the government agencies concerned has been enhanced while factory inspection mechanism strengthened. The Directorate of Inspection for Factories and Establishments has been upgraded into a Department with a number of reforms including recruitment of new labour inspectors. The number of female inspectors has also been increased in a bid to better interact with the predominantly female RMG workforce. The newly recruited labour inspectors were trained in labour law, fire and building safety as well as inspection techniques.
Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC) has been established by the Government of Bangladesh with support from the ILO to function as a self-sufficient national authority to monitor and maintain safety standards in the apparel industry. Staffed by members of the key regulators and specialist engineers, the RCC will also contribute to building the national capacity of the regulators.

Garment workers and employees have been provided with safety training by ACCORD and ALLIANCE. Besides,  Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Employers Federation (BEF) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) in cooperation with ITC-ILO designed a program to provide training on “Essentials of Occupational Safety and Health” (EOSH). In the first phase of the program 114 BGMEA and BKMEA officials were trained as Senior Master Trainers. In the second phase these Senior Master Trainers delivered training to factory managers/supervisors who in third phase conducted awareness raising training on OSH to more than 8,00,000 workers.