BSCI Round Table in Bangladesh pushes forward fire safety issues

19-03-2013

The improvement of health and safety conditions is an ongoing challenge in Bangladesh. However, the issue has taken great urgency following the tragic factory fires end of 2012. On 14 March 2013, BSCI gathered with local representatives from labour sector, buyers, producers, fire service and civil defence, relevant ministries and representatives of the European Union to take forward issues around fire safety in Bangladesh factories. While the Bangladesh Building Codes were revised in 2006, it has been a major challenge to put them into practice and implement the laws in factories. Furthermore, while the number of fires in Bangladesh garment sector has decreased in recent years, according to Ali Ahmed Khan, Director General of Fire Service and Civil Defence, there continues to be a lack of understanding on effective fire fighting methods and insufficient awareness programmes among workers. During the Round Table meeting the President of Bangladesh Apparels Workers Federation, Towhidur Rahman, stressed the role played by the government to implement fire safety measures. The Ministry of Labour’s Joint Secretary Faizur Rahman said a draft of the policy and work plan to ensure fire safety and compliance in RMG industries will be finalised by 30 March and placed in Parliament afterwards for approval. For many years, BSCI has been in dialogue with Bangladeshi economical, social and political actors. BSCI will continue to push forward the issue of fire safety and encourage enforcement of health and safety laws across Bangladesh factories. BSCI also carries out specific fire safety training courses in Bangladesh for managers and security wardens. Due to the importance of this issue, more workshops will be held throughout the year. With ongoing commitment from all players, BSCI hopes to see an end to preventable factory fires, not only in Bangladesh but across the world.  

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