A Day With Garments Worker On Safety Concern In Bangladesh

Bangladesh, the southern Asian country has a population of approximately 164 million people. The economy of Bangladesh is significantly dependent on agriculture. But its a great news for the country that, readymade garments (RMG) sector of Bangladesh has raised as the biggest earner of foreign currency. This sector creates about 4.2 million employment opportunities and contributes significantly to the GDP. Readymade garments (RMG) of Bangladesh is powered by young, urbanizing, workers, where most of them are women.

The foundation of textile sector was first established in the 60th decade of 19th century.By following the beginners of RMG sector, some others discreet and hard-working entrepreneurs started their RMG business in the country. From there, RMG sector of Bangladesh was developing day by day and not needed to look back. Though this sector had passed various critical stages through the path. As a result we can see a matured garments industry today.

In RMG sector of Bangladesh, there are more than 5000 garment factories (private statistics) at the current time, employing more than 12 lack labours, where 85% of the labour force is women. But, according to BGMEA the number of garment factories in Bangladesh around 4000. Now, RMG industry is the countries largest export earner with the value of over $31.2bn of exports in the last financial year.

Though RMG sector of Bangladesh has achieved the second spot for the highest number of garments exporter, but it has a lot of problems. The major problems faced by RMG sector currently is the lack of safety in working place and working conditions for the millions of garments workers. It’s become a great challenge for the upcoming financial year of Bangladesh.

Two major incidents in RMG sector of Bangladesh are the Tazreen fire and the Rana Plaza collapse, which have brought the issue of workplace safety to the fore and led all stakeholders to act accordingly. But it’s good news for RMG sector that, following the unfortunate incidents, various platforms such as the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and National Plan of Action have been formed to improve building and fire safety of Bangladesh’s garment industry. Also BGMEA and BKMEA are working together here to solve such kinds of problems.If we can’t do it, foreign buyers will refuse to place order here, which will be a massive blow for RMG sector of Bangladesh.

Our Work in RMG: 
On the continuity of worker safety in Garments building EngineersWithout Borders Bangladesh doing some safety guideline for the worker. We are working on fire safety, Earthquake safety, Electric safety guidelines for the workers. Guidelines are given below:

Earthquake safety:

1.DROP, COVER and HOLD ON!-Move as little as possible - most injuries during earthquakes occur because of people moving around, falling and suffering sprains, fractures and head injuries.Try to protect your head and torso.
Earth Quake Safety Session
2.Use stairs rather than an elevator in case of aftershocks, power outages or other damage.
3.Be aware that smoke alarms and sprinkler systems frequently go off in buildings during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.
4.If you smell gas, get out of the house and move as far away as possible.
Earth Quake Safety
Fire Safety:

1.Raise the Alarm-Building's fire alarm system should be activated as soon as a blaze is discovered if it hasn't been triggered automatically.

Picture: Fire Safety Session

2. Evacuate-All employees should be told to stop what they're doing and leave your building calmly and quickly as soon as your fire alarm has sounded. They should leave immediately without collecting personal effects.

3. Never use elevators if you suspect a fire has started in your office.

4. If your escape route has been blocked by fire, shut all doors and windows in the room you're in to prevent flames and smoke from coming back in from the outside. Wait for the emergency services to arrive.

5. Once all workers have gathered at your meeting point, your company's fire marshals should conduct a head count to make sure all employees who were in your building have made it out safely.

6. Considerations- Fire marshals who've received training in how to respond to a blaze, and have access to safety equipment and fire extinguishers, should be permitted to stay behind to put a manageable fire out and shut down any utility supplies or computer systems. Once fully evacuated, you should not allow any of your workers to return to your building until it has been declared safe by the emergency service personnel.


Other suggestions for safety :

·         Clean up oil and chemical spills immediately, and keep work areas free of any extra paper, boxes or rags.
·         Don't string electrical cords across floors or walkways.
·         De-energize machinery before any maintenance work is started and thoroughly inspect that equipment before the power is turned back on.

·         Keep tools which cause friction or sparks away from areas where explosive and flammable materials are present.
·         Use a temporary sprinkler system in areas where hot work is being conducted or for areas being used to temporarily store flammable materials.
·         Train employees in the various sounds made by the alarm system and what action they need to take when an alarm sounds.
        Invite outside emergency responders into the facility and educate them about hazards. Have an emergency plan in place and conduct a full-fledged emergency response drill at least once a year.
·         Routinely inspect and test fire extinguishers and check that all exit and direction signs provide correct information, are in place and are well-lit even during a power outage.

Engineers Without Borders Bangladesh
The session is done with the help of a renowned garments factory in Bangladesh 

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