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REPORT TITLE
IDENTIFYING THE REASONS OF HAZARDS AND SAFETY
MEASURES IN READYMADE GARMENTS INDUSTRIES IN
BANGLADESH
INTRODUCTION
 The Ready-Made Garments (RMG) industry occupies a unique position in the
Bangladesh economy. It is the largest exporting industry in Bangladesh, which
experienced phenomenal growth during the last 25 years.
 By taking advantage of an insulated market under the provision of Multi Fiber
Agreement (MFA) of GATT, it attained a high profile in terms of foreign exchange
earnings, exports, industrialization and contribution to GDP within a short span of
time.
 The industry plays a key role in employment generation and in the provision of
income to the poor. Nearly four million workers are directly and more than twelve
million inhabitants are indirectly associated with the industry.
 Over the past twenty five years, the number of manufacturing units has grown from
180 to over 4000.
 To know the reasons of industrial hazards in RMG.
 Identifying the existing safety measures undertaken by garments industries.
 Identify the safety standards and guidelines regarding industrial hazards.
 Providing the recommendations regarding the safety of industrial hazards.
OBJECTIVES
Research design
The research is a descriptive research. It made use of both qualitative and quantitative
tools in analyzing the data assembled.
Data regarding the completion of this report are collected from both primary and
secondary sources.
Primary source:
Direct conversation with the employees of various garments of Bangladesh.
Secondary sources:
1., Export Promotion Bureau of garments industry
2. Internet
3. Annual report of the garments industries,
4. Different published material. Such as books and articles,
5.BGMEArolebook guidelines
6.International guidelines
METHODOLOGY
THE HAZARDS/
PROBLEMS OF
RMG
 Fire:
Fire is another major reasons of garments industry in Bangladesh. fire risk and thus enable
efficient use of the available resources in ensuring fire safety in this industry.
 Raw materials:
Bangladesh imports raw materials for garments like cotton, thread color etc. This dependence on
raw materials hampers the development of garments industry. Moreover, foreign suppliers often
supply low quality materials, which result in low quality products
 Unskilled workers:
Most of the illiterate women workers employed in garments are unskilled and so their products
often become lower in quality.
 Improper working environment:
Taking the advantages of workers’ poverty and ignorance the owners forced them to work in
unsafe and unhealthy work place overcrowded with workers beyond capacity of the factory floor
and improper ventilation.
 Lack of managerial knowledge:
There are some other problems which are associated with this sector. Those are- lack of marketing
tactics, absence of easily on-hand middle management, a small number of manufacturing
methods, lack of training organizations for industrial workers, supervisors and managers,
autocratic approach of nearly all the investors, fewer process units for textiles and garments,
sluggish backward.
 Gendered division of labor:
In the garment industry in Bangladesh, tasks are allocated largely on the basis of gender. This
determines many of the working conditions of women workers. All the workers in the sewing
section are women, while almost all those in the cutting, ironing and finishing sections are men.
 Wages:
The government of Bangladesh sets minimum wages for various categories of workers. According
of Minimum Wage Ordinance 1994, apprentices’ helpers are to receive Tk500 andTk930 per
month respectively. Apprentices are helpers who have been working in the garment industry for
less than three months. After threemonths, Apprentices are appointed as helpers.
 Insufficient of loan:
Insufficiency of loan in time, uncertainly of electricity, delay in getting materials, lack of
communication, problem in taxes etc. Often obstruct the industry. In the world market 115 to 120
items of dress are in demand where as Bangladesh supplies only ten to twelve items of garments.
India, south Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan etc, have maderemarkable progress
in garments industries.
 Unit labor cost:
Bangladesh has the cheapest unit labor cost in South Asia. It costs only 11 cents to
produce a shirt in Bangladesh, whereas it costs 79 cents in Sri Lanka and 26 cents in
India. Clearly, Bangladesh’s comparative advantage lies in having the cheapest unit labor
cost.
 Working hours:
Though the wages are low, the working hours are very long. The RMG factories claim to
operate one eight-hour shift six days a week. The 1965 factory Act allows women to
work delivery deadlines; however, women are virtually compelled to work after 8
o’clock.
 Poor accommodation facilities:
As most of the garment workers come from the poor family and comes from the remote
areas and they have to attend to the duties on time, these workers have to hire a room
near the factory where four to five huddle in a room and spend life in sub human
condition. For four to five workers there is one common latrine and a kitchen for which
they have to pay from Tk=2000 to Tk=2500/-.
 Safety Problems:
 Routes are blocked by storage materials
 Machine layout is often staggered
 Lack of signage for escape route
 No provision for emergency lighting
 Doors, opening along escape routes, are not fire resistant
 Doors are not self-closing and often do not open along the direction of escape
 Adequate doors as well as adequate staircases are not provided to aid quick exit
 Fire exit or emergency staircase lacks proper maintenance
 Lack of proper exit route to reach the place of safety
 Parked vehicles, goods and rubbish on the outside of the building obstruct exits to the
open air
 Fire in a Bangladesh factory is likely to spread quickly because the principle of
compartmentalization is practiced
 Political crisis:
Garments industries often pay dearly for political unrest, hartal and terrorism etc. The
international market has withdrawn quota advantage over garments export form Bangladesh
since December 2005. Bangladesh has to advance cautiously for getting better position of
her garments in the world market.
 Price competitiveness:
China and some other competitors of Bangladesh have implemented sharp price-cutting
policies in exporting garment products over the last few years, but Bangladesh has failed to
respond effectively to such policies.
 Lead time:
Lead time refers to the time required for supplying the ordered garment products after the
export order has been received. In the 1980s, the usual lead time in the garment industry
was 120-150 days for the main garment supplier countries of the world; it has been reduced
to 30-40 days in the current decade.
 Existing safety measures in RMG
Major life-threatening safety concerns still remain outstanding in many garment factories
inspected by the western retailers' platform -- Accord -- although 80 per cent of identified
safety flaws have so far been fixed. In its quarterly progress update till October 01, the
Accord said inadequate fire detection and alarm systems still remain outstanding in some
946 garment factories out of 1,378 units where the findings have been identified.
 The unfit RMG that are not existing safety measures
1. Lack of sprinklers and fire doors
2. Faulty wiring
3. The worst building structural or electrical defects
4. Inadequate fire detection
5. Lockable or collapsible gates
6. Install egress lighting
7. Many factories fail to make progress on remediation
8. There are few expert engineers to support remediation process.
9. Limited availability of key goods and services
10. Unauthorized subcontracting
11. Many factory owners lack access to affordable funding/financing
12. Unsafe means of exit
13. Unsafe electrical Installation
14. Inadequate automatic fire alarm
15. Large number of factories falling behind in schedule for CAP
 The fit RMG that are existing safety measures undertaken by RMG
1.fire safety protocol
2.labour inspection reforms
3.occupational safety and health
4.rehabilitation and skills training
5.electrical safety inspection
6.social protection scheme
7.adequate automatic fire alarm
8.maintenance of standards of cleanliness
9.adequate lighting, ventilation and temperature
10.control of elements hazardous to health like dusts, gases, fumes etc.
11.requirement of periodical medical service
20.requirement of precaution against dangerous fumes.
The safety standards and guidelines regarding industrial hazards by RMG experts
1. Preparation
2. Training and Monitoring
3. Extra Care with Hazardous Materials
4. Ones Eyes Deserve Better
5. Beware of Sharp Edges
6. Ergonomics
7. Fire Extinguishers is a Must
8. Know thy Workplace
9. Create Peer Rewards
10. Foster Outside Competition
11. Ensuring RMG Factories are Safe
12. Strengthening the Labour Inspectorate
13. Strengthening the Fire Service
14. Beyond Inspections
15. Enhancing Occupational Health and Safety
17. Coordination and Collaboration:
18. Enhancing Workers’ Rights:
 Management of the factory should organize regular training, workshops, seminars
on health and safety for staff, publish materials on safety and many other steps to
instruct safety consciousness in the minds of workers.
 Management should provide and maintain at the workplace, adequate plant and
system of work that are safe and without risk to health.
 Provide the necessary information, instruction, training and supervision having
regard to the age literacy level and other circumstances of the worker to ensure.
 Management must share hazard and risk information with other employers
including those on adjoining premises, other site occupiers and all sub-contractors
coming on to the premises.
 Ensure correct storage procedures of flammable liquids and other dangerous
materials. Management should endeavor to provide safe and proper means of
storing dangerous gases at the work place in order to protect the safety and health
of employees. Correct procedures should be adhered to strictly.
RECOMMENDATIONS
 The provision of fire extinguishers in itself is good but not enough. It is
recommended that management should take it a point to train staff in the effective
and efficient use of fire extinguishers.
 Workers should be given enough insight of the risk and dangers inherent in their
work at the work places.
 The provision of protective clothing and putting in place safety and health
measures is not enough.
 The government should also institute monitoring teams that will go round
periodically to check whether employers go by the regulations as provided in the
Labour Act.
RECOMMENDATIONS
CONCLUSION
 There cannot be any active occupational health and safety policies if both employers
and employees fail to accomplish their respective responsibilities.
 The employer is supposed to file government accident reports, maintain records on
health and safety issues, posting safety notices and legislative information, providing
education and training on health and safety.
 It also acts as a link between the organization and the enforcement agency (the health
and safety inspectorate), monitoring and evaluating the organization’s safety policies,
and making proposals for changes, if necessary.
 The employee on the other hand is required to comply with all health and safety rules,
knowing that the person ultimately responsible for his/her health and safety is
himself/herself.
 Staffs are required to wear protective clothing, use equipment and tools provided for
their work, and report any contravention of the law by management. Also the
employee has the right to refuse unsafe work.
 Accidents are costly both to the affected worker and the organization. Therefore,
every effort should be made in order to avoid them from happening a the work place.
THANKS TO ALL

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Identifying the reasons of hazards and safety measures in readymade garments industries in bangladesh

  • 1.
  • 2. REPORT TITLE IDENTIFYING THE REASONS OF HAZARDS AND SAFETY MEASURES IN READYMADE GARMENTS INDUSTRIES IN BANGLADESH
  • 3.
  • 4. INTRODUCTION  The Ready-Made Garments (RMG) industry occupies a unique position in the Bangladesh economy. It is the largest exporting industry in Bangladesh, which experienced phenomenal growth during the last 25 years.  By taking advantage of an insulated market under the provision of Multi Fiber Agreement (MFA) of GATT, it attained a high profile in terms of foreign exchange earnings, exports, industrialization and contribution to GDP within a short span of time.  The industry plays a key role in employment generation and in the provision of income to the poor. Nearly four million workers are directly and more than twelve million inhabitants are indirectly associated with the industry.  Over the past twenty five years, the number of manufacturing units has grown from 180 to over 4000.
  • 5.  To know the reasons of industrial hazards in RMG.  Identifying the existing safety measures undertaken by garments industries.  Identify the safety standards and guidelines regarding industrial hazards.  Providing the recommendations regarding the safety of industrial hazards. OBJECTIVES
  • 6. Research design The research is a descriptive research. It made use of both qualitative and quantitative tools in analyzing the data assembled. Data regarding the completion of this report are collected from both primary and secondary sources. Primary source: Direct conversation with the employees of various garments of Bangladesh. Secondary sources: 1., Export Promotion Bureau of garments industry 2. Internet 3. Annual report of the garments industries, 4. Different published material. Such as books and articles, 5.BGMEArolebook guidelines 6.International guidelines METHODOLOGY
  • 8.  Fire: Fire is another major reasons of garments industry in Bangladesh. fire risk and thus enable efficient use of the available resources in ensuring fire safety in this industry.  Raw materials: Bangladesh imports raw materials for garments like cotton, thread color etc. This dependence on raw materials hampers the development of garments industry. Moreover, foreign suppliers often supply low quality materials, which result in low quality products  Unskilled workers: Most of the illiterate women workers employed in garments are unskilled and so their products often become lower in quality.  Improper working environment: Taking the advantages of workers’ poverty and ignorance the owners forced them to work in unsafe and unhealthy work place overcrowded with workers beyond capacity of the factory floor and improper ventilation.  Lack of managerial knowledge: There are some other problems which are associated with this sector. Those are- lack of marketing tactics, absence of easily on-hand middle management, a small number of manufacturing methods, lack of training organizations for industrial workers, supervisors and managers, autocratic approach of nearly all the investors, fewer process units for textiles and garments, sluggish backward.
  • 9.  Gendered division of labor: In the garment industry in Bangladesh, tasks are allocated largely on the basis of gender. This determines many of the working conditions of women workers. All the workers in the sewing section are women, while almost all those in the cutting, ironing and finishing sections are men.  Wages: The government of Bangladesh sets minimum wages for various categories of workers. According of Minimum Wage Ordinance 1994, apprentices’ helpers are to receive Tk500 andTk930 per month respectively. Apprentices are helpers who have been working in the garment industry for less than three months. After threemonths, Apprentices are appointed as helpers.  Insufficient of loan: Insufficiency of loan in time, uncertainly of electricity, delay in getting materials, lack of communication, problem in taxes etc. Often obstruct the industry. In the world market 115 to 120 items of dress are in demand where as Bangladesh supplies only ten to twelve items of garments. India, south Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan etc, have maderemarkable progress in garments industries.
  • 10.  Unit labor cost: Bangladesh has the cheapest unit labor cost in South Asia. It costs only 11 cents to produce a shirt in Bangladesh, whereas it costs 79 cents in Sri Lanka and 26 cents in India. Clearly, Bangladesh’s comparative advantage lies in having the cheapest unit labor cost.  Working hours: Though the wages are low, the working hours are very long. The RMG factories claim to operate one eight-hour shift six days a week. The 1965 factory Act allows women to work delivery deadlines; however, women are virtually compelled to work after 8 o’clock.  Poor accommodation facilities: As most of the garment workers come from the poor family and comes from the remote areas and they have to attend to the duties on time, these workers have to hire a room near the factory where four to five huddle in a room and spend life in sub human condition. For four to five workers there is one common latrine and a kitchen for which they have to pay from Tk=2000 to Tk=2500/-.
  • 11.  Safety Problems:  Routes are blocked by storage materials  Machine layout is often staggered  Lack of signage for escape route  No provision for emergency lighting  Doors, opening along escape routes, are not fire resistant  Doors are not self-closing and often do not open along the direction of escape  Adequate doors as well as adequate staircases are not provided to aid quick exit  Fire exit or emergency staircase lacks proper maintenance  Lack of proper exit route to reach the place of safety  Parked vehicles, goods and rubbish on the outside of the building obstruct exits to the open air  Fire in a Bangladesh factory is likely to spread quickly because the principle of compartmentalization is practiced  Political crisis: Garments industries often pay dearly for political unrest, hartal and terrorism etc. The international market has withdrawn quota advantage over garments export form Bangladesh since December 2005. Bangladesh has to advance cautiously for getting better position of her garments in the world market.
  • 12.  Price competitiveness: China and some other competitors of Bangladesh have implemented sharp price-cutting policies in exporting garment products over the last few years, but Bangladesh has failed to respond effectively to such policies.  Lead time: Lead time refers to the time required for supplying the ordered garment products after the export order has been received. In the 1980s, the usual lead time in the garment industry was 120-150 days for the main garment supplier countries of the world; it has been reduced to 30-40 days in the current decade.  Existing safety measures in RMG Major life-threatening safety concerns still remain outstanding in many garment factories inspected by the western retailers' platform -- Accord -- although 80 per cent of identified safety flaws have so far been fixed. In its quarterly progress update till October 01, the Accord said inadequate fire detection and alarm systems still remain outstanding in some 946 garment factories out of 1,378 units where the findings have been identified.
  • 13.  The unfit RMG that are not existing safety measures 1. Lack of sprinklers and fire doors 2. Faulty wiring 3. The worst building structural or electrical defects 4. Inadequate fire detection 5. Lockable or collapsible gates 6. Install egress lighting 7. Many factories fail to make progress on remediation 8. There are few expert engineers to support remediation process. 9. Limited availability of key goods and services 10. Unauthorized subcontracting 11. Many factory owners lack access to affordable funding/financing 12. Unsafe means of exit 13. Unsafe electrical Installation 14. Inadequate automatic fire alarm 15. Large number of factories falling behind in schedule for CAP
  • 14.  The fit RMG that are existing safety measures undertaken by RMG 1.fire safety protocol 2.labour inspection reforms 3.occupational safety and health 4.rehabilitation and skills training 5.electrical safety inspection 6.social protection scheme 7.adequate automatic fire alarm 8.maintenance of standards of cleanliness 9.adequate lighting, ventilation and temperature 10.control of elements hazardous to health like dusts, gases, fumes etc. 11.requirement of periodical medical service 20.requirement of precaution against dangerous fumes.
  • 15. The safety standards and guidelines regarding industrial hazards by RMG experts 1. Preparation 2. Training and Monitoring 3. Extra Care with Hazardous Materials 4. Ones Eyes Deserve Better 5. Beware of Sharp Edges 6. Ergonomics 7. Fire Extinguishers is a Must 8. Know thy Workplace 9. Create Peer Rewards 10. Foster Outside Competition 11. Ensuring RMG Factories are Safe 12. Strengthening the Labour Inspectorate 13. Strengthening the Fire Service 14. Beyond Inspections 15. Enhancing Occupational Health and Safety 17. Coordination and Collaboration: 18. Enhancing Workers’ Rights:
  • 16.  Management of the factory should organize regular training, workshops, seminars on health and safety for staff, publish materials on safety and many other steps to instruct safety consciousness in the minds of workers.  Management should provide and maintain at the workplace, adequate plant and system of work that are safe and without risk to health.  Provide the necessary information, instruction, training and supervision having regard to the age literacy level and other circumstances of the worker to ensure.  Management must share hazard and risk information with other employers including those on adjoining premises, other site occupiers and all sub-contractors coming on to the premises.  Ensure correct storage procedures of flammable liquids and other dangerous materials. Management should endeavor to provide safe and proper means of storing dangerous gases at the work place in order to protect the safety and health of employees. Correct procedures should be adhered to strictly. RECOMMENDATIONS
  • 17.  The provision of fire extinguishers in itself is good but not enough. It is recommended that management should take it a point to train staff in the effective and efficient use of fire extinguishers.  Workers should be given enough insight of the risk and dangers inherent in their work at the work places.  The provision of protective clothing and putting in place safety and health measures is not enough.  The government should also institute monitoring teams that will go round periodically to check whether employers go by the regulations as provided in the Labour Act. RECOMMENDATIONS
  • 18. CONCLUSION  There cannot be any active occupational health and safety policies if both employers and employees fail to accomplish their respective responsibilities.  The employer is supposed to file government accident reports, maintain records on health and safety issues, posting safety notices and legislative information, providing education and training on health and safety.  It also acts as a link between the organization and the enforcement agency (the health and safety inspectorate), monitoring and evaluating the organization’s safety policies, and making proposals for changes, if necessary.  The employee on the other hand is required to comply with all health and safety rules, knowing that the person ultimately responsible for his/her health and safety is himself/herself.  Staffs are required to wear protective clothing, use equipment and tools provided for their work, and report any contravention of the law by management. Also the employee has the right to refuse unsafe work.  Accidents are costly both to the affected worker and the organization. Therefore, every effort should be made in order to avoid them from happening a the work place.