It is estimated that over 11,000 workers suffer fatal accidents and a further 24,500 die from work related diseases across all sectors each year in Bangladesh. It is also estimated that a further 8 million workers suffer injuries at work – many of which result in permanent disability. Although little research has taken place in Bangladesh, it is internationally recognized that most occupational deaths and injuries are entirely preventable, and could be avoided if employers and workers took simple initiatives to reduce hazards and risks at the workplace.
The ILO is working in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Bangladesh Employers’ Federation (BEF), National Coordination Committee for Workers Education (NCCWE), Industriall Bangladesh Council (IBC) and social partners such as the Occupational Safety and Health and Environment (OSHE) Foundation and the Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS), work to foster a preventative safety and health culture by strengthening national occupational safety and health (OSH) systems. This includes support in the following areas:
- Updating the National OSH Profile and developing a National Plan of Action on OSH
- Working with employers organisations to cascade basic OSH training to 750,000 – 800,000 workers in 400 RMG factories
- Providing OSH capacity building to master trainers from NCCWE and IBC who will pass on these skills to some 3,000 workers
- Developing an OSH KIT for initiating and functioning Safety Committees at factory level
- Preparing advocacy and outreach campaign on OSH to help foster a culture of OSH in the country
- Supporting the establishment of OSH committees in Better Work factories