Dhaka, 25 January 2022 (TDI): The International Labor Organization (ILO) recently teamed up with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) to improve the working conditions and on-site safety for workers in the ready-made garment sector (RMG).

The Bangladesh ready-made garment sector has had many problems in the past. Between 2012 and 2013, 1,200 workers lost their lives as two factories collapsed. Additionally, garment workers in Bangladesh work 12 hours shifts every day and receive less than minimum wage in some cases.

ILO and BGMEA met up to discuss the terms of their collaboration. This includes increasing the number of safety committees in key manufacturing areas in the country. George Faller, Chief Technical Advisor of the ILO’s Improving Working Conditions in the RMG Sector Programme was joined by BGMEA President Faruque Hassan.

A plan to establish 700 safety committees was discussed. This would ensure that proper safety measures take place in the workplace.

“These committees will prevent many workplace accidents and diseases once they are equipped with proper skills and tools. Also they are allowed to function as per the law.” -George Faller

Members of the committee will be trained on occupational safety and health along with hazard identification and prevention. Members will also be taught risk assessment and building a safety culture in the workplace.

Additionally, they will be briefed on COVID-19 safety protocols. These workers will then relay this information to their staff and colleagues to better promote a safe and secure workplace.

“The safety of our workers is our priority. Hence, we joined hands with the ILO to invest in strong and functional safety committees which will help our industry to overcome the safety and health crisis posed by the pandemic and mitigate other occupational risks” -Faruque Hassan
International Labor Organization (ILO)

The International Labor Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that researches and works towards resolving labor issues around the world. In addition, it promotes safe working conditions, making sure workers are paid fair wages and that they’re not exploited. This agency has a long history of success since its foundation in 1919.