December 8, 2022, 11:33 pm

Nirmal Barman

2018-04-28 05:52:20 BdST

National Occupational Health and Safety Day being observed Saturday


National Occupational Health and Safety Day is being observed across the country on Saturday with a call to ensure sound health of the workers and safe working environment.

The theme of the day is "Healthy workers, Safe Life-Ensure Sustainable Development". Bangladesh is observing the day nationally for the third time.

National Occupational Safety and Health Day was first celebrated in Bangladesh in 2016 thrugh the support of the ILO's Improving Working Conditions in the RMG sector programme funded by Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The campaign aims to accelerate action to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 8.8 of safe and secure working environments for all workers by 2030.

The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work for the workers will be held on April 28 and has been observed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) since 2003.

A national occupational safety and health culture is one in which the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected at all levels, where governments, 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 accorded 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.

The labour and employment ministry chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the day. On the eve of the day, state minister for labour and employment Md Mujibul Haque Chunnu said that a safe and healthy environment in the industrial sector has to be ensured to boost production. The government has formulated the National Occupational Health and Safety Policy in 2013 in this regard, he said.

The present government is committed to ensuring occupational health and safety of workers, he added.

Considering the Rana Plaza tragedy in 2013, the government amended the labour act 2006 and enacted the Labour (Amendment) Act 2013 through amending the section related with occupational health and safety.

The Labour (Amendment) Act 2013 introduces several provisions aimed at improving workplace safety.

Among others, the amended legislation now requires the creation of safety committees in factories with 50 workers or more, the establishment of workplace Health Centres in workplaces with over 5000 employees and safety welfare officers in workplaces with more than 500.

Under the amendments compensation for work-related deaths is provided after two years in employment, compared to the current three years period. Workplaces of over 500 employers are required to arrange for and cover the cost of treatment of occupational diseases.

The labour inspectorate is given new responsibilities to inspect safety and health conditions of workplaces and conduct on-the-spot inspections.

Other important amendments deal with dangerous work for children; emergency exits; access to gangways and stairs for workers; mandatory use of personal safety equipment; notification of competent authority in case of incident; and provisions on social dialogue, trade unions and dispute resolution; and employers and companies responsibilities.

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