315 inspectors receive electrical safety training to help reduce fire risk in RMG sector

A training programme will build the electrical safety skills of inspectors to reduce the risk of fires in the RMG sector

Press release | Dhaka, Bangladesh | 03 September 2016
Fire inspectors take part in the training
A major new training programme will build the electrical safety inspection capacity of the Bangladesh fire service, labour inspectorate and industry organisations, helping reduce the threat of fires in RMG factories.

According to Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence Department (BFSCD) figures approximately 75 percent of fires in RMG factories are electrical in nature.

Launched today at the BFSCD training complex in Mirpur, Dhaka, the initiative will see 315 inspectors from the BFSCD, Department of Inspections for Factories and Establishments (DIFE), Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) gain in-depth knowledge of electrical engineering considerations as they apply to fire safety.

The training has been organised by the BFSCD with support from the International Labour Organization’s Fire and General Building Safety project funded by the US Department of Labor. Experts from Bureau Veritas will deliver the sessions to help raise awareness of potential electrical safety hazards, build understanding on the design of fire detection and alarm systems as well as provide a basic understanding of schematics.

Taking place in nine batches until the end of October 2016 each, each three-day training session will comprise classroom work complemented by field visits allowing the trainees to put new skills into practice in a factory environment. As part of the programme a core group of inspectors will also be trained as trainers in electrical safety.

Brig. Gen Ali Ahmed Khan, Director General of the BFSCD said, “Electrical short circuits are the main cause of fires in the RMG sector. This training will better equip the fire service to reduce this risk and ensure compliance with national codes and standards on building and worker safety, not only in the RMG sector but across all industries.”

Mr Srinivas Reddy, ILO Country Director said, “This training is an important element of strengthening the regulators capacity to enforce laws and rules governing workplace safety. It will also reinforce collaboration between the fire service, Department of Inspections for Factories and Establishments and industry organisations to ensure harmonization and a co-operative approach towards government inspection regimes.

This additional capacity and collaboration should lead to safer work places and promote a culture of safety first.”

The US Department of Labor-funded Improving Fire and General Building Safety in Bangladesh project aims to improve fire and building safety in the Ready Made Garment sector. ILO, working in close collaboration and coordination with relevant national and international stakeholders and partners is seeking to enhance national enforcement of relevant fire and general building safety laws and regulations consistent with international labour, fire and building standards and good practices.