GIZ Supported 21 Factories to Achieve OHSAS 18001 Certificate

Fazlul Haque
বুধবার, জুন ১৫, ২০১৬
  • শেয়ার করুন

Staff Correspondent : To disseminate the impacts of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) standards being implemented in selected garment factories in Bangladesh, a certification event was held on 15 June 2016 in Dhaka. The standard in discussion was the OHSAS 18001, an internationally accepted measure for industrial worker and workplace safety.

Photo_GIZ Bangladesh

The event was organised by the Support to the Health Sector Programme II (SHSP II), a joint project of the governments of Bangladesh and Germany.Thepurpose of the event was to showcase the positive impacts ofimplementing OHSAS 18001 on those factories. The project is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, which works on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Till now, OHS measures implemented in the industry have been sporadic and disorganised in their approaches. Though there have been numerous efforts for mitigating occupational risks, there lacks, as yet, a unifying standard for measuring and regulating OHS measures.

Through voluntary participation and cooperation with GIZ, 21 garment factories implemented the OHSAS 18001 measures in full, in the last two years.These outcomes indicate a progressive and symbiotic dynamic that has evolved between the industry and its workers.

This was highlighted further by Mr. Mashook Mujib Chowdhury, Assistant Manager, Sustainability, DBL Group, who presented his company’s experience with OHSAS 18001 implementation. Apart from the ethical grounding in which such standards should be implemented, he elaborated on the potential benefits of these measures to factories and the industry at large.

These included greater acceptability in the compliance-sensitive western markets, which took on added importance following the tragic incidents of Rana Plaza and Tazreen. Moreover, the benefits of ensuring health and safety of garment workers have also translated to increased worker retention and productivity, as well as the mitigation of massive cost burdens that workplace accidents and hazards would entail.

Mr. Mr. Faruque Hassan, Senior Vice President, BGMEA praised the efforts of GIZ for inducing demand for holistic approach towards workplace safety.

Mrs. RoswithaAmels, the first secretary, German Development Cooperation in Bangladesh, addressed the support and dedication of the German Embassy in ensuring better labour practices in Bangladesh.

Similar issues were also endorsed by Syed Ahmed, the Inspector General of the Department for Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE).

The event was also attendedby the Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE), who reaffirmed his ministry’s dedication to ensure that Bangladesh adopts verifiable standards of labour safety. He said,”These days Bangladeshi industrial sector has addressed the specific issues of fire, building and electric safety, and it is the time to adopt a holistic approach to address the OSH through operationalising of a management standard. I commend the German government in assisting these groups of factories and making examples for others to follow.”

The closing ceremony was commenced byDr. Faruk Ahmed Bhuiyan,the Line Director of the Non-Communicable Disease Control (NCDC), under Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). Given his responsibility for pushing forward the OHS agenda, he intended to usethe current case studies to advocate for adoption of OHS within and beyond the RMG industry.

The event was attended by a diverse range of stakeholders, including various development partners engaged in OHS. Presence of factory representatives ofvarious garment associations and diversified government dignitaries resulted in a healthy and amicable exchange of opinions and recommendations amongst those present.