Workplace safety has been an issue for Bangladesh since long. This is specially overlooked in jobs which are carried out by people living on meager wages or day to day labourers. A few examples of these jobs can be construction workers, day labourers, electricitans, home painters, brick kiln workers, quarry workers and ship breakers. Last year too there have been numerous reports about deaths due to failure of safety for workplaces.
A report by the Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies showed death of 1,175 workers — 131 construction workers, 116 farmers, 85 day labourers, 62 fishermen, 35 electricians, 24 plastic factory workers, 23 brick kiln workers, 14 ship-breaking workers and 6 apparel factory workers last year. The report projects the disconcerting picture of violation of labour rights along with the blind eye that is being shown to these people by the authorities concerned.
The work should be continued only after
proper working conditions and
safety for the workers is ensured
A recent report published in this daily told the tale of poor stone quarry workers slaving away in hazardous workplaces for a meager wage. The unsafe work conditions have caused the death of many workers in Sylhet. The figure stood at 76 last year. But still this illegal work is being continued after so many lives have been lost. The work should be continued only after proper working conditions and safety for the workers is ensured.
The 2019 Global Rights Index that the International Trade Union Confederation published in June last year also speaks of a bleak reality of labour rights in Bangladesh. The profile, not inclusive though, records 2.96 lakh violations of labour laws at work in 2016–2018 while the Global Rights Index ranks Bangladesh among the 10 worst countries for workers.
It is high time that the authorities concerned focused on the issue of workplace safety and labour rights and adopted a proper plan to ensure