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Workplace accidents kill 333 in 6 months: Survey


Published : 30 Jun 2022 10:07 PM

At least 333 workers died in 241 workplace accidents in Bangladesh in the past six months, revealed a survey conducted by a rights organization - Safety and Rights Society.

The survey, released on Thursday, showed that the number of workplace accidents or occupational risks and deceased rose in the January-June period of 2022 as 306 workers had died in 220 workplace accidents in the same period in 2021 across the country.

According to the survey, the highest 138 workers died in transport sector. Next number goes for the service sector. A total of 100 workers were killed at the workplaces like restaurants, automobile 

servicing workshops and power supply sector. Besides, 48 workers died in construction sector while 26 workers died in manufacturing sector (like garment, plastic factory, ship breaking, steel/re-rolling mill, etc). It also found that 21 workers linked to agriculture were killed during this period.

The survey was conducted based on reports carried by 26 dailies (15 national and 11 regional) and the deaths of workers outside the workplace or in traffic accidents on the way to or from workplaces was not included in it.

It showed that road accidents caused 153 deaths while 57 in fire incidents, 25 workers died from electrocution, 23 died after being crushed into falling machinery or by heavy load or hard objects, 19 died after falling from heights (i.e. from scaffolds), 15 workers died from lightning/ thunder strikes, 15 workers died in explosions, nine workers died in building/ wall/ roof collapses and nine were suffocated to death by inhaling poisonous gas at septic or water tanks. The rest of eight workers died of drowning.  

Executive director of Safety and Rights Society, Sekender Ali Mina said, “Deaths in occupational hazards or workplace accidents are not desirable. We have only observed deaths of drivers and helpers in road accidents. The authorities concerned with controlling the transport sector would have to step up surveillance otherwise accidents would continue to increase.”

“One of the reasons for the increase in accidents is the negligence of employers in the safety of workers in the workplace and the lack of proper inspection of government departments. We have seen the negligence of the concerned authorities in the Shitakunda accident. Decent working environment is must for a sustainable development and every expenditure for ensuring safety of workers should be treated as an investment,” he said.

Safety and Rights Society has proposed that safety measures should be extended to all the sectors with proper enforcement of the laws by government regulatory bodies which include RAJUK, Department of Inspection for Factories & Establishment, as well as to the garment sectors Employers. 

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Industrial employers must establish health and safety policies for their respective organizations; make a safety plan before undertaking construction work; provide proper PPE at free of cost and ensure holding of a regular fire drill and health and safety training irrespective to all the industrial-workers.