All export-oriented RMG factories in Bangladesh have been inspected for structural, fire and electrical safety. ILO has supported government inspection efforts while two private sector groups – the Accord and the Alliance – have inspected the factories their members source from.
Of more than 3,600 factories inspected, 39 have been closed for posing immediate danger to workers. All others must undergo a process of remediation including actions such as installing fire doors.
© Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh
The labour inspectorate is on the front line to ensure worker safety and rights. With the support of ILO, it has undergone significant reform since the Rana Plaza collapse as it seeks to become a more effective, credible and accountable institution.
Motorcycles provided by ILO help labour inspectors visit factories more easily.
A culture of Occupational Safety and Health is being developed in Bangladesh. ILO is working with the government, employers and workers organisations to help create awareness of risks, their prevention and the enforcement of regulations.
The Rana Plaza collapse left many survivors and their families very vulnerable. ILO has helped support 300 to gain new livelihoods skills and reintegrate into the workforce. Many have been supported to set up small businesses while ongoing counselling and psychosocial support is also being provided.
Progress on worker safety needs to be matched by similar progress on labour rights. The formation of new trade unions needs to be easier and anti-union discrimination investigated in a systematic and transparent manner.
ILO is working with trade unions to build their capacity to organize as well as in key areas such as Occupational Safety and Health.
ILO’s work in Bangladesh to improve workplace safety and labour rights is funded by Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the US Department of Labour.