Bangladesh: Govt. will not meet December deadline for factory inspections

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The Bangladesh government will not be able to inspect all the readymade garment factories for building and fire safety measures by December, the stipulated deadline. Severe shortage of inspectors is causing the delay, said Labor and Manpower Secretary Mikail Shipar. “It is not possible to inspect all the 4,500 garment factories within December. But we are about to start the inspections.”

He said advertisements were issued for only 37 factory inspectors, even though the ministry was supposed to hire 200. “We are working to create the rest of the posts,” he added.

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The Secretary said Accord and Alliance – two foreign organizations – will study 1,750 of the factories, and added 30 BUET teams will begin preliminary assessment from September 15. “The government will inspect the rest of the factories,” he said. Factories to be inspected by the foreign organizations have not yet been selected.

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The Secretary said Accord and Alliance had been invited to a workshop which will be organized on Sept 7 with technical cooperation of the ILO. “They’ll determine the technique of the factory inspection so that all the factories can be inspected maintaining Bangladesh standard,” he said.

Ministry officials said the ILO had prioritized conducting factory fire safety survey, strengthening inspection, offering professional health and safety training, rehabilitating the injured and applying Better Works Program for implementation of the national programs on labor rights.

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