• Mymensingh road crash kills 6 Ijtema devotees
  • Thai vote starts peacefully, but political paralysis looms
  • Syria death toll tops 136,000, future talks uncertain
  • Devotees seek divine blessings at Akheri Munajat
  • Qaisar indicted
  • SC upholds bail to four BNP leaders
  • Septic tank blast kills father, daughter in Tongi
  • Australia claims 'substantial' progress on reef protection
  • Buet student’s injury in road crash sparks protest
  • Two Bangladeshis killed in brawl over pair of shoes
  • Election schedule for reserve seats next week: EC
  • No tax from 1.36 lakh good looking houses: NBR
  • Govt turned entire country into jail: BNP
  • RU closed sine die
HOME  MAIN NEWS
  
Print Friendly and PDF

Half of apparel workers live in disaster fears: Alliance

Moinul Haque

Almost a half of apparel workers in Bangladesh are worried about safety in their work place and think that they could not be able to leave the factory buildings quickly in emergencies, according to a half-yearly report of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety.
Alliance, a platform of North American apparel brands set up after the Rana Plaza building collapse, conducted a worker baseline survey on more than 3,200 workers in 28 factories in November–December 2013 and came up with he finding hat 30 per cent of the workers think that there is a high risk of fire in their factory buildings.
Ten focus groups did off-site interviews with 101 respondents in three regions to obtain more detailed information on fire and health and safety issues.
In July 2013, the North American apparel companies set up Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a five-year initiative to improve safety condition for workers in Bangladesh. Alliance made the survey report public on January 30.
Alliance reported on the progress achieved against its commitments for the first six months and said that it had already inspected 222 factories, accounting for 31 per cent of the factories on its list.
‘In order to avoid duplication, the Alliance committee of experts is now conducting an independent analysis of those inspections to evaluate their compliance with the Alliance standards,’ the report said.
The report said that qualified inspectors will re-inspect factories that have failed to meet the standards.
Alliance said that there were about 700 factories, employing about 1.28 million workers, from which North American companies were buying clothes.
Alliance said that all its member factories in Bangladesh would face fire safety, structural and electrical inspections in the assessment of compliance with Alliance fire and building safety standards by July 2014.
‘Inspections will then prompt action plans to be used by factories to improve safety conditions for garment workers, and remediation will begin when necessary,’ the report added.
Focusing on the worker baseline survey, the report said that the primary purpose of the survey and off-site interviews was to better understand the current level of awareness of health and safety risks and what workers believe needs to be done to improve safety and reduce risk.
The respondents were selected randomly from factories that had not received training provided or sponsored by Alliance member companies and it was anonymous.
Sixty-five per cent of the workers in focus groups indicated that they would prefer to work on a low floor for safety reasons and 27 per cent felt that they were not trained sufficiently in how to save themselves in emergencies.
The survey found that workers were not fully aware of fire risks and the importance of fire safety measures; and 57 per cent of the workers thought that evacuation drills and safety training should be avoided during peak seasons.
‘Despite being 80 per cent of the garment factory work force, female workers tend to have a lower level of knowledge than their male counterparts. They are also less active in health and safety committee activities, contacting worker representatives and voicing their concerns,’ the report said.
The findings showed that 49 per cent of workers aged between 14 and 17 years thought that their job would negatively impact their health at least to some extent.
‘I believe that such kind of problems exist in the garment sector in Bangladesh but the data used in the survey report are debatable,’ Md Fazlur Rahman, president of the Bangladesh Employers’ Federation, told New Age.
He said that Alliance had made a commitment to ensuring safety in the Bangladesh apparel sector as they are also aware of the problems and this is the time they worked together.
Fazlur, also a former president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association, said that recent factory disasters had proved that the training of workers was not sufficient and workers needed effective training.




Reader’s Comment

comments powered by Disqus
   

Ekushey book fair starts off on bad note

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina leafs through a book after inaugurating the Amar Ekushey Book Fair organised by Bangla Academy in Dhaka on Saturday. — BSS photo
Amar Ekushey Book Fair, this time expanded into Suhrawardy Udyan, started off on a bad note at the Bangla Academy on Saturday, with organisers failing in management and many publishing houses yet to have books on display for sales. Low vigilance, poor... Full story

187sq km of Dhaka wetland destroyed in 13 years

The government and private developers have dirt-filled an estimated 187 square kilometres of permanent and seasonally-flooded wetlands in and around Dhaka in 13 years since the passage of the Wetland and Open Space Conservation Act 2000. Full story

Half of apparel workers live in disaster fears: Alliance

Almost a half of apparel workers in Bangladesh are worried about safety in their work place and think that they could not be able to leave the factory buildings quickly in emergencies, according to a half-yearly report of the Alliance... Full story

BNP leaders set out on tour of dists today

Leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party will set out on Sunday on a tour of districts to pick up single candidates from the party aspirants for each post in the coming upazila parishad elections. Full story

Shots, blasts as protest rivals clash on Thai election eve

Explosions and heavy gunfire rattled Bangkok on Saturday as pro- and anti-government protesters clashed on the eve of controversial Thai elections seen as unlikely to end a cycle of violence in the kingdom after months of opposition rallies. Full story

Warrant against Paresh Baruah, Nurul Amin soon

The court will issue warrants soon against the United Liberation Front of Asom leader Paresh Baruah and former additional secretary of industries Nurul Amin, the two absconding convicts among the 14 people who were sentenced... Full story

Jamaat defers hartal to Thursday

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami on Saturday deferred to Thursday its dawn-to-dusk countrywide general strike for smooth return of Muslim devotees from Biswa Ijtema and for Saraswati Puja, one of the religious festivals of Hindus. Full story
  • Online Poll


    Do you think that the government has successfully brought back normalcy in public life after the January 5 elections?

    • Yes
    • No
    • No comment
    Ajax Loader