The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) will jointly work to boost health and workplace safety in ten priority sectors across the country.
The sectors are electronic and electrical, chemical, plastic, light engineering, leather, food processing, furniture, printing and packaging, domestic readymade garment (RMG) and steel re-rolling.
To this effect, ILO and FBCCI signed an agreement on Wednesday to undertake a number of capacity-building and promotional activities to strengthen workplace and health safety at institutional as well as enterprise levels, according to a statement.
These activities will be supported by ILO's RMG programme funded by Canada and the Netherlands. Through the initiative, 15 safety units will be established to build safety culture in these ten sectors, it added.
Simultaneously, 2,400 safety representatives and 100 safety committees will be developed to improve awareness and capacity on workplace safety and health among employers and workers.
ILO Bangladesh country director Tuomo Poutiainen, FBCCI president Md Jashim Uddin, its senior vice president Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu, representatives from various industrial sectors and business leaders were present at the signing ceremony held at the FBCCI auditorium in the city.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Poutiainen said, "ILO is pleased to join forces with FBCCI to promote safety culture and practices in priority industries. We hope that our collective efforts will help prevent many occupational accidents, injuries and diseases and save countless lives."
All Bangladeshi enterprises with 50 or more employees have a legal binding to set up 'safety committees' comprising of an equal number of worker and employer representatives.
The ILO-FBCCI initiative will develop the capacity of 900 safety committee members on fire and occupational safety and health (OSH) so that they can better monitor, address and communicate on safety issues at their respective workplaces, the statement said.
Earlier in May, the ILO RMG programme organised the first Industrial Safety Forum (ISF) in Dhaka to discuss, engage and collaborate on improving workplace safety and health in all economic sectors across Bangladesh.