Fire service and Labour Inspectorate to conduct joint inspections of RMG factories

Inspectors from the Department of Inspections for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) and the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defense (BFSCD) are gearing up to carry out joint inspections of RMG factories.

News | 22 February 2016
Inspectors from Department of Inspections for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) and Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defense (BFSCD) will conduct joint inspections of ready-made garment factories assessed for structural, fire and electrical safety.
A series of workshops are bringing together DIFE and BFSCD staff to coordinate the follow-up of Corrective Action Plan (CAP) development as part of the remediation process for the RMG sector. The first workshop held in Gazipur district held from 14 to 15th February 2016 was attended by 20 inspectors from the two departments.

“This joint workshop has created an opportunity for us to interact with our counterparts from the Fire Service and also coordinate factory inspections. This will enhance the effectiveness of inspections to ensure safety for workers,” said Md. Abdul Malek, a Labour Inspector from the DIFE office for the Tongi area.

In all, four joint workshops will be organized in Gazipur, Chittagong, Naranganj and Dhaka districts with the aim of clarifying the roles and responsibilities of inspectors; strengthening technical capacity of inspectors to ensure a smooth process flow; improving their ability to communicate with factory owners/managers to implement recommendations for remediation as made in the preliminary assessment reports; and to increase collaboration between the fire service and labour inspectorate.

“The joint workshop helped us to clearly understand and demark the scope of our inspections and also how each of us can carry out our work in a coordinated manner,” said Md. Obaidul Islam, Inspector of BFSCD from Dhaka.

ILO’s Tuomo Poutiainen highlighted the important role the two regulators play. “The labour inspectorate and fire service are on the front line regarding worker safety in Bangladesh. It is vital that they collaborate closely to follow up on inspection recommendations and remediation work in a systematic and transparent manner. The safety of many millions of workers depends on it,” he said.

The workshop was jointly supported by two ILO initiatives: the Improving Working Conditions in the Ready Made Garment Sector project funded by Canada, Netherlands and the United Kingdom and the Improving Fire and General Building Safety in Bangladesh project funded by the US Department of Labor (USDoL).