International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) signed an agreement on Wednesday to enhance workplace safety and health in 10 priority economic sectors.
Under the agreement, a number of capacity-building and promotional activities will be carried out to strengthen workplace safety and health at institutional as well as enterprise levels, read a press statement.
These activities will be supported by ILO's RMG programme funded by Canada and the Netherlands.
Through the initiative, 15 safety units will be established to build a safety culture in 10 industries, including – electronic and electrical, chemical, plastic, light engineering, leather, food processing, furniture, printing and packaging, domestic RMG and steel re-rolling.
Simultaneously, 2400 safety representatives and 100 safety committees will be developed to improve awareness and capacity on workplace safety and health among employers and workers.
ILO Bangladesh Country Director Tuomo Poutiainen; FBCCI President Md Jashim Uddin, Senior Vice President Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu, Vice President Md Amin Helaly and directors were present at the agreement signing ceremony at the FBCCI auditorium in Dhaka.
Representatives from various industrial sectors and business leaders were also present at the event.
Tuomo Poutiainen, country director of ILO Bangladesh, said, "ILO is pleased to join forces with FBCCI to promote safety culture and practices in priority industries. We hope that our collective efforts will help prevent many occupational accidents, injuries and diseases and save countless lives."
All Bangladeshi enterprises with 50 or more employees have a legal binding to establish "safety committees" comprising of an equal number of worker and employer representatives.
The ILO-FBCCI initiative will develop the capacity of 900 safety committee members on fire safety and occupational safety and health (OSH) so that they can better monitor, address and communicate on safety issues at their respective workplaces.
"Ensuring the safety of workers is our utmost priority. We have teamed up with the ILO to invest in strong and functional safety units, safety committees and safety representatives. Strengthening workplace safety and health at institutional and enterprise levels will make our factories more safe and productive which will benefit the national economy," said FBCCI President Md Jashim Uddin.
Earlier in May, the ILO RMG programme organised the first Industrial Safety Forum (ISF) in Dhaka to discuss, engage and collaborate on improving workplace safety and health in all economic sectors across Bangladesh.
The programme is collaborating with Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) to upskill 1000 RMG safety committees on occupational safety and health (OSH), fire safety and Covid-19 guidelines.