Industrial safety

ILO brings in international experts to train Bangladeshi inspectors on safety checks

News | 26 April 2019
Government inspectors and engineers at the closing ceremony of a four-day training on safety regulations.
DHAKA (ILO News) - As part of the ILO’s ongoing initiative to improve safety standards in Bangladesh’s garment sector, a group of 33 government engineers and officials were trained on industrial safety regulations by Bureau Veritas.

The participants, which included seven women, are responsible for monitoring safety remediation in circa 700 garment factories. They are employed by the Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC), a specialised unit under the Bangladesh labour inspectorate.

The ILO has supported the operations and capacity building of the RCC since its launch in May 2017. To aid this purpose, Bureau Veritas (Bangladesh) Pvt. Ltd, an international health and safety certification agency, was hired in November 2018 to provide engineering, case management and training support to the RCC.

The four-day workshop, held in April 2019, addressed national building code, fire act and safety regulations. A series of similar courses will run until the end of 2020 to train more than 750 officials from various national regulatory agencies. The organizations which will benefit from the training include Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD), Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) and the Chief Electrical Inspector’s office.

The Inspector General of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE), Mr Shib Nath Roy inaugurated the training programme and said: “We thank the ILO for organising world class training for our national officials. The RCC engineers must take advantage of this opportunity to improve their skills and confidence to work at factory level.”

Saddam Alam Khan, an Electrical Engineer at DIFE participated in the course. He said: “The training was a useful refresher for me. It improved and clarified my understanding of safety codes.”

George Faller, Chief Technical Advisor of the ILO’s Improving working Conditions in the RMG Sector programme said: “We hope that the trained engineers will expedite the remediation of factories and contribute to the merging of the RCC into a full-fledged ‘industrial safety unit’.

Sohel Azad, Country Manager of Bureau Veritas (Bangladesh) Pvt. Ltd and Maurice Len Brooks, Workplace Safety Specialist at ILO were present at the event among others.

Following the collapse of Rana Plaza in April 2013, 1,549 factories were inspected by Bangladesh government’s National Initiative. A number of those factories have subsequently closed down resulting in 697 factories that the RCC is currently working with. This work is being assisted by the ILO’s ‘Improving Working Conditions in the Ready-Made Garment Sector in Bangladesh’ programme funded by Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.