National Occupational Health and Safety Day today

The National Occupational Health and Safety Day is being observed for the fourth time across the country today with a call to ensure sound health of the workers and safe working environment for them. The theme of the day this year is “Safe workplace: Bangladesh on the way to Sustainable Development”, reports BSS. Marking the occasion, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi will attend as chief guest a meeting to be organized by the Ministry of Labor and Employment at the Krishibid Institute auditorium in the capital at 4 pm.
To observe the day, different organizations and institutes, in line with the Labour and Employment Ministry, has chalked out elaborate programmes, including meetings, discussions, rally and truck-show.

In a press conference in the city on the eve of the day, State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnujan Sufian said the government has been observing the National Occupational Health and Safety Day on April 28 every year since 2016, taking the occupational health and safety as an important issue for all industries. In national occupational safety and health culture, the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected at all levels, where the governments, the employers and workers actively participate in securing a safe and healthy working environment through a system of defined rights, responsibilities and duties, and where the highest priority is given to the principle of prevention.

In Bangladesh, the day is being observed to create awareness among the people as well as the workers and the employers on occupational health and safety as per the guideline of Occupational Health and Safety Policy -2013. President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday called for taking concerted efforts in ensuring occupational health protection and safe work environment in the country.

They made the call in separate messages on the eve of ‘National Occupational Health and Safety Day-2019’. The theme of the day is ‘Safe Workplace: Bangladesh On The Way To Sustainable Development’. The President, in his message, said there is no alternative to ensure utmost utilization of up-to-date technology and labour resources to cope with the open market economy. The President said it is very important to ensure developed workplace, occupational health and safety of institutional and non-institutional workers to increase productivity for sustainable development.

“Healthiness of workers and congenial work environment are closely related with productivity,” he said. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, said the greatest Bangalee of all times Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had struggled throughout his life to realize the rights of workers. “He (Bangabandhu) was the true friend of workers. He had nationalized all mills and factories after the independence to ensure the rights and welfare of the workers,” she added.

The Awami League led government has been implementing various massive prpgrammes to develop the living standard of workers, to ensure congenial work environment and health safety at workplace since after assuming office in 2009. Inspired by the ideology of Bangabandhu, she mentioned a number of steps have taken by her government for welfare of the workers, including, formulating “National Occupational Health and Safety Policy 2013” and “Bangladesh Labour Rules 2015”.

The government also made amendment to Bangladesh Labor Act-2006 twice in 2006 and 2018 to ensure safe work environment and protect workers’ health, she added. Sheikh Hasina urged the owners of industries and factories, investors, managers and entrepreneurs to ensure safe work environment and health protection of workers for continuing the sustainable industrialization and increasing productivity.

The prime minister called for taking concerted efforts to turn Bangladesh into a middle income country before 2021 and developed and prosperous country by 2041. She said regular financial support is being provided from the workers’ welfare foundation for the treatment of workers and their children’s higher education. The President and the Prime Minister wished success of all programmes marking the day.