No safety body in 44pc RMG factories, DIFE survey finds

There is no safety committee in 44 per cent of garment factories in the country as the procedure for forming the committee is yet to be finalised, a recent survey conducted by the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments found. ‘Although the government has adopted the provision of safety committee in the amended labour law but due to an absence of rules the provision has remained unimplemented,’ DIFE inspector general Syed Ahmed told New Age on Monday.
‘According to the law, in a factory where 50 or more workers are employed, there shall be a safety committee. And the committee will be formed and functioned in the manner prescribed by rules,’ he said.
Syed also said that the overall compliance situation in the garment sector had improved in the July-September period compared with that in the April-June period when the previous survey was conducted.
The latest survey conducted in 555 apparel factories in the July-September period found that there was no trade union in 90 per cent of the factories.
Out of the 555 factories, 366 are affiliated with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, 54 are members of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association and 135 are not affiliated with any trade body.
According to the report, 28 per cent of the factories did not have required fire safety and fire fighting equipments and 46 per cent of them did not maintain safety record books and boards.
The survey found that 14 per cent of the factories did not pay their workers regularly and 65 per cent of them took no approval from factory inspectors for additional working hours at their units.
According to the report, 31 per cent of the factories did not allow maternity leave and allowances while 25 per cent of them did not follow leave regulations.
BGMEA vice-president Shahidullah Azim said that a good number of factories had formed safety committee comprising workers’ representatives as the owners of the units had a good intention to implement the labour law.
‘But until finalisation of the rules, we do not know how the committee will function as the law states that the committee will be formed and functioned as specified by rules,’ he said.

-With New Age input

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