5:16 pm - Tuesday May 24, 6681

8 lakh RMG workers to get ILO training

Eight lakh ready-made garment (RMG) workers across the country are set to get benefit from an occupational safety and health training programme.

The occupational safety and health training programme launched in the capital city yesterday. Entitled the Essentials of Occupational Safety and Health (EOSH), is an innovative training package developed by the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) International Training Centre in Turin, reports BSS.

The training programme is being delivered by the Bangladesh Employers Federation (BEF) with the support of the ILO and financed by Canada, the Netherlands and United Kingdom, according to a release.

rmgbdThe Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) are also supporting the training.

The launch marked the third phase of an initiative that has seen a core group of 114 master trainers from BEF, BGMEA, BKMEA and RMG factories train 8,038 RMG managers and supervisors in occupational safety and health.

In the latest phase, this group would now go on and build awareness of key OSH issues amongst 8,00,000 workers in 585 factories by June 2017.

Mujibul Haque Chunnu, State Minister for The Ministry of Labour and Employment said, “Safety in the workplace is major priority for the government. This training will contribute greatly to that goal as both workers and employers will benefit from improved safety practices.”

The training for workers covers seven priority areas for the RMG sector namely, of which fire safety, electrical safety, trips, slips, falls and good housekeeping, dangerous substances, ergonomics, personal protective equipment and first aid.

In addition to the EOSH training, the initiative would also see 585 company representatives oriented on the formation of Safety Committees at factory level.

The goal is to establish 110 functioning Safety Committees at company level by January 2017. During the event the first two modules of an ‘Occupational Safety and Health kit’ that the government is developing in collaboration with ILO were also launched.

Covering the areas of managing safety and health, and establishing Safety Committees, the modules form part of an ‘OSH kit’ to be distributed to all RMG factories.

It would provide guidance and support to newly formed Safety Committees to help them function effectively.

Golam Mainuddin, Vice President, Bangladesh Employers’ Federation said, “A safe work environment is a priority issue for the Bangladesh Employers’ Federation. All parties should work together to implement occupational safety and health measures at the work place in accordance with the related laws and provisions of the country.”

Also speaking at the opening, ILO Country Director Srinivas Reddy re-emphasised the recent comments of ILO Director General Guy Ryder who in the aftermath of the recent Tampaco Foils fire highlighted that there could be no room for complacency and the need to create a stronger culture of preventative safety in all industrial sectors.

Among others, Benoit-Pierre Larmee High Commissioner, High Commission of Canada, Siddiqur Rahman, President of BGMEA, Mansoor Ahmed, 2nd Vice President BKMEA and Abdul Mukit Khan representing of the National Coordination Committee for Worker’s Education took part in the programme.

Following the launch of the EOSH programme a stakeholder consultation also took place on ILO’s Decent Work Country Programme for Bangladesh (2016-2020). Decent Work Country Programmes are the main vehicle for delivery of ILO support to countries. Each DWCP is organised around a limited number of country programme priorities and outcomes. These are further detailed in an implementation plan.