Bangladesh setting up research for health benefit of RMG workers

BDApparelNews Desk
2 November 2018  

Readymade garments workers of Bangladesh going to work. Photo Courtesy: Dhaka Tribune

Readymade garments workers of Bangladesh going to work. Photo Courtesy: Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh is setting up a research institution for health benefits of workers with an aim to ensure a developed and safe workplace environment for them.

The ‘National Professional Health and Safety-Related Research and Training Institute’ will research and develop methods to counter professional-related health and safety issues for the workers in Bangladesh - especially the big 3.6 million workforce engaged with the country’s readymade garments sector.

State Minister for Labour and Employment Md Mujibul Haque, who unveiled the foundation plaque on November 1, said this institute will help in countering professional-related health issues and raise awareness among the workers to this cause.

WHAT WILL THE INSTITUTION DO?

One of the main tasks of the institution will be to train the doctors and staff of specialised hospitals - which are being set up to treat the workers at low cost - on the profession-related illness and health issues of the workers.

“Generally, the diseases and illness of the workers are very complex. Often, the general hospitals are incapable of treating such complex cases. Many a times, doctors never even get a clear idea about the illness,” Minister Haque said at the unveiling.

Alongside researching into the causes and countermeasures to those health issues, the research institution will also provide training to factory owners, workers and its mid-level management about these issues and its countermeasures.

Minister Haque affirmed that these trainings will be of international standard.

HOW IS IT BEING DONE?

According to the minister, primarily International Labour Organisation (ILO), Sweeden, Denmark and Netherlands have agreed to assist with the technical aspects, trainers and overall assitance to the project.

This is the first institute that will research into incidents of workplace accidents of workers, their professional health and overall safety. It is being said, this is the second such research unit through South Asia, next to one in India.

It is being hoped that once the facility is developed, professionals from Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka will receive training from Bangladesh.

WHERE IS IT LOCATED?

The foundation of the institute has been laid in the northern district of Rajshahi; on a 19-acre piece of land owned by the Ministry of Labour and Employment in Terkhada area, Rajshahi city.

Rajshahi city Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton, who was present at the foundation laying, said, the institute will be a milestone in the advancement of Bangladesh. 

The project is being implemented at a cost of BDT 165.28 crore. If everything goes to plan, the project is being expected to be completely functional by 2021.