Integrated plan on RMG safety inked
Published: 2013-07-25 17:40:49.0 BdST Updated: 2013-07-25 17:40:49.0 BdST
Government, employers and workers on Thursday signed an action plan on fire safety and structural integrity in the Bangladesh’s garment industry to fulfil two previous commitments, consolidating the momentum to improve shoddy safety conditions in this sector.
Secretary for Labour and Employment Mikail Shipar, Bangladesh Employees Federation President Md Fazlul Hoque, BGMEA Vice President Reaz-Bin-Mahmood, BKMEA First Vice President Mohammad Hatem, NCCWE Chairman Sukkur Mahmud and IBC Secretary-General Roy Ramesh Chandra signed the agreement at a meeting at the labour ministry.
The Secretary will chair a ‘High-Level Tripartite Committee’ to monitor the implementation of the plan.
International Labour Organisation (ILO) says it will assist in the implementation and coordination of the plan.
Key areas identified in the action plan include assessment of the structural integrity and fire safety of garment factory buildings, strengthening labour inspection, worker and management training and awareness of occupational safety and health and worker rights and rehabilitation of disabled workers.
ILO says the plan has integrated the National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety in the RMG Sector, signed on March 24 in response to the Tazreen factory fire, and the Joint Tripartite Statement adopted on May 4 in the wake of the Rana Plaza tragedy.
“It is vital that we address fire safety and structural integrity in a coordinated manner,” Secretary Shipar was quoted as saying in a media release.
“This action plan brings together two sets of important commitments by the Government and employers and workers organisations, which will consolidate the momentum for improving RMG factory safety in Bangladesh,” he said.
The integrated Plan of Action identifies activities that “fall within the tripartite partners’ individual and/or collective responsibility and need to be implemented to ensure an integrated approach to promoting fire safety and building integrity in Bangladesh in general and in the ready-made garment sector in particular”.
The plan laid down legislation and policy, administrative and practical activities, as well as the respective partners responsible for the implementation of the activities, and a timeframe for its implementation.
“It is another important step in our progression towards improving worker safety in the RMG sector in Bangladesh,” he said.
The monitoring committee will review and update the Plan of Action including activities to be carried out until 2015 and develop ways “through which other stakeholders can support implementation of - and coordination with - the integrated plan of action”.
The ILO has developed a three year programme on “Improving Working Conditions in the Ready-Made Garment Sector” to support implementation of the action plan.
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