Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – At least 388 workers were killed in workplace related accidents across the country in 2011, Safety and Rights Society, a non-governmental organization has reported.

The 388 workers died in 323 workplace accidents in 2011 while 383 workers died in 270 workplace accidents in 2010, The Daily Star, a local newspaper, reported quoting the NGO’s press statement.

The report has been prepared on the basis of reports published in 26 daily newspapers (15 national and 11 regional newspapers) from January 1 to December 31, 2011.

The report did not include the deaths of workers outside the workplace or deaths of workers as a result of road traffic incidents.

The survey found that the highest number of workers (183) died in construction sites, followed by deaths in factories and other manufacturing organizations (86), service organizations like hotels, workshops, power supply organizations (73) and others sectors (46).

Electrocution was the cause of the highest number of deaths (134 workers) while 74 died after falling from height (i.e scaffolds). Some 50 others were crushed to death by machinery or hard objects.

The remaining 130 workers died from various causes, including exploding boilers, chemical and gas explosions, fire, suffocation as well as earth, roof and wall collapses.

However, the report mentioned that the actual number of the workplace deaths is certainly to be more than the numbers published in the report as many workplace deaths were not reported in the newspapers.

The NGO observed that most of the electrocutions occurred when iron rods carried by construction workers came into contact with live electric lines passing near the under construction buildings.

It also observed that the workers fall victims to electrocution, as they were not provided protective equipment like wearing helmet, gloves, shoes etc during the work. The main reason why workers fell from high places was due to poorly made scaffolds (macha) and lack of ropes and harnesses.

The organization proposed that there must be proper enforcement of the laws by regulatory bodies, including RAJUK, and factory inspectorate.

BBN/SSR/AD-07Jan12-11:45 am (BST)