The National Tripartite Committee on Building and Fire Safety in the readymade garment sector on Thursday decided to set up a tripartite technical
sub-committee to monitor and assess factory safety.
At the first meeting of the National Tripartite Committee at the ministry of labour, representatives of the government, International Labour Organisation and owners agreed that the sub-committee will be chaired by the ministry of labour and will be directly monitored by high-level Tripartite Committee. The ILO will offer technical assistance as requested.
The meeting, chaired by labour secretary Mikail Shipar, also decided that the technical sub-committee will focus on the structural integrity of buildings and fire safety, including practical details of how inspections will be carried out, and co-ordinate with other assessments like those planned by European and US buyers and brands.
The Tripartite Committee formed to implement the National Plan of Action on Building and Fire Safety in the readymade garment sector in Bangladesh brings together representatives of government, workers’ and employers’ organisations, with the International Labour Organisation playing an advisory role.
The National Action Plan was formally agreed on March 24, 2013. The aim of the Action Plan is to take comprehensive action to prevent any further loss of life, limb and property through workplace fires and related incidents.
To do that, the Action Plan identified activities in three categories – legislative and policy, administrative, and practical. The practical activities under consideration include assessing the structural integrity of all active RMG factories, developing and distributing educational tools on rights and occupational safety and health to workers and middle managers, and redeploying and rehabilitating workers affected by the recent accidents.
Among the items discussed by the committee was a proposal to merge into one document the commitments made by the tripartite partners in the NAP and those they made in the Joint Statement signed on May 4 at the end of the recent visit of ILO high level mission.
The Committee members agreed to merge both and finalise the document in a week’s time.
The Committee agreed to hear a report at its next meeting on the medical, vocational and economic rehabilitation of victims of the recent garment factory disasters.
The Director of the ILO’s Country Office for Bangladesh, Srinivas Reddy, introduced a team of international ILO specialists who will support the Committee in developing its work. The ILO team’s expertise covers a wide range of areas, including international labour standards, fundamental principles and rights at work, occupational health and safety, fundraising and partnership-building, and communications.
The representatives of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association, the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association, Bangladesh Employers’ Federation, Bangladesh Power Development Board, Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, the Public Works Department and the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments attended the meeting.
-With New Age input