Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh has launched a programme aiming to provide training some 800,000 readymade garment (RMG) workers across the country.
“This training will contribute greatly to that goal as both workers and employers will benefit from improved safety practices,” Mujibul Haque Chunnu, State Minister for Labour and Employment of Bangladesh, said while inaugurating third phase of the Essentials of Occupational Safety and Health (EOSH) programme in the capital Dhaka on Sunday.
He also said safety in the workplace is a major priority for the government of Bangladesh.
It is being delivered by the Bangladesh Employers Federation (BEF) with support from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) with funding from Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. 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 amongst 800,000 workers in 585 factories by June 2017.
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.
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 of Bangladesh 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.