Non-RMG factories to come under fire safety inspection

Dhaka,  Monday,   2016-09-23
Published : 23 Sep 2016, 00:27:48

Non-RMG factories to come under fire safety inspection

DIFE prepares list of 26,000 units
Monira Munni

The government is set to bring non-readymade garment (RMG) factories under its inspection programme mainly to ensure compliance and fire safety at workplaces, sources said.

The Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) has prioritised some sectors including boiler, chemical, plastic, rubber and the factories that use explosive and flammable materials for inspection by a third party, they added.

The move came following the Tampaco fire that killed at least 35 workers, they added.

"We are preparing a project proposal to inspect fire, electrical and structural issues in industrial units beyond the RMG sector," Syed Ahmed, inspector general of DIFE, told the FE.

The inspection is likely to be conducted by engineering firms while housekeeping of chemical factories would also be inspected, he added.

The DIFE has prepared a list of some 26,000 registered factories including the RMG, he said adding out of those, the sectors mentioned would be inspected initially.

Regarding funding of such inspection, he said though they are exploring possibilities for arranging financial supports, the government will also provide the required funds.

Officials said, the DIFE has already sought support from GIZ and will request International Labour Organisation (ILO) in this regard.

Quoting an ILO statement by its director general Guy Ryder issued after the Tampaco fire, they said the ILO assured that it is ready to further support Bangladesh's efforts to ensure safety of its workers.

"Now we only concentrated on RMG factories after the Rana Plaza building collapse and want to move beyond the sector as many improvements are taking place there," Mr Ahmed said adding other industrial units are yet to see such supervision sector-wise.

There are some 3,500 garment factories that have been assessed by western retailers' platforms-Accord and Alliance-and under the national action plan, he said.

Post-inspection remediation is also going on in those units, he noted.

The labour and employment ministry has, in principle. agreed to launch inspection of non-RMG factories, he said adding the DIFE will send the inspection proposal to the ministry shortly for its nod.  

The DIFE on September 18 also directed its inspectors to include boiler, chemical, plastic, rubber factories and those that use furnace and explosive materials in its regular inspection activities along with RMG factories, DIFE sources said.
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