Working conditions in Bangladesh

A labour inspector at work
©ILO
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Following the Tazreen Fashions fire and Rana Plaza collapse ILO has placed considerable emphasis on enhancing safety and working conditions in the ready-made garment sector, a sector which accounts for some 80 per cent of Bangladesh’s export earnings and employs an estimated 4.2 million workers.

Major initiatives are being undertaken to inspect RMG factories for structural and fire safety. The capacity of the Labour Inspectorate and the Fire Service and Civil Defence Department is being significantly enhanced. Levels of coordination and collaboration are also being built so that these bodies are able to take on an effective regulatory oversight role in the coming years once external support ends.

Occupational safety and health remains an issue with support being provided to implementing the National Occupational Safety Health (OSH) policy. Employers and workers organisations are taking an active role in training mid-level managers, supervisors and trade union leaders on occupational health issues. Meanwhile, at factory level the Better Work programme is helping to set up structures boosting worker-management relations so that workers play a role in improving their workplace conditions.