A Common Factors of Occupational Death Or Injury in Bangladesh

Published: 2021-09-13 12:05:07
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A very common factor of occupational death or injury at Readymade Garments sector in Bangladesh is fire incident. Last 22 years 94.2% incident in RMG sector of Bangladesh occurred by fire (Hasan et al., 2017). The main cause of fire incident is electric short circuit. Another significant causes are boiler explosion, transformer explosion, overheating, storage of flammable materials, canteen kitchen etc. (Hossain, 2016). Fire incident also occurred due to unplanned work environment, faulty electrical wiring, disorganized workers and smoking materials. This type of accident becomes more devastating when the only exit is locked. In some cases there are not enough fire exit doors and ventilation systems in the building, sometimes smoke alarm does not work in garment industries, even some garment industries does not have any fire or smoke alarm systems (Akhter et al., 2010) .
Building collapse is the most hazardous factor of occupational death or injury at Readymade Garments sector in Bangladesh. It is not very common but more harmful than fire incident. From the year 1990 to the year 2016 the 65 fire incidents caused only 395 death where two buildings collapse cussed almost 1196 death. So building collapse is more alarming factor for occupational death or injury than any others (Hasan et al., 2017). Some remarkable reasons for building collapse are the weak foundations or basement, poor materials, design problems, excessive load (Hasan & Mahmud, 2017). Other reasons that cause building collapse include additional roof by violating building plan, keeping heavy generator on the rooftop, unplanned heavy machineries installations and the lack of safety and security measures (Chowdhury & Tanim, 2016). Lack of proper training on safety mechanisms is a major factor regarding occupational death or injury in Readymade garments sector of Bangladesh. When higher authority personnel or important visitors come to the working area then workers are temporarily provided with some basic safety equipments like hamlets (Akram, 2014).
While overtime is beneficial for workers but it should be agreed from both sides- employees and employers. That means overtime working cannot be forced by employers and must be agreed by the workers. Almost half of the workers of RMG secotor in Bangladesh face compulsory overtime which creates health hazard for them (Hossain, 2017). Overtime work is a very familiar practice in developing countries like Bangladesh which affect the physical and mental health of the workers. It leads to the higher rate of industrial accidents (Akram, 2014). Even more than half of the workers do not have any access to the recreation facilities or areas of occupied by the industry which influence the chances of accident through mental disorder or stress (Hossain, 2017). Most of the workers are not satisfied with their workload. They have to work near about ten hours almost every day to satisfy their needs with a little payment (Shoron, 2014).
Employee carelessness or employer negligence also causes occupational death or injury. Despite hearing the fire alarm, managers force workers from leaving the workplace. Sometime they lock the specific exit point or several exit points like collapsible gates on several floors. Despite noticing about the risk of the building collapse they force workers to continue the work (Akram, 2014)
Discomfort working environment, excessive workload, different tension, deep focus on stitching for long working hours, less consumption of nutrition or food cause different injuries among workers which may sometimes lead to the death (ILO, 2015). Workers have to work in an unhealthy and uncomfortable environment where lack of daylight and airflow is a very common scenario (Akram, 2014). Dust is another threat to health of the workers. It is less emphasized in readymade garment sector of Bangladesh. Dust causes different vital diseases among workers. That means health hazard in this particular sector is working environment oriented. It reveals the negligence of authorities on that particular issue (Samaddar, 2016). Inadequate light, Sound pollution, Inadequate ventilation, dirty space, Overcrowding, unsafe drinking water are common phenomena in RMG sector of Bangladesh. These factors cause headache or shoulder pain, backache, joint pain, eye strain, hearing problem, gastroenteritis, breathing difficulty, skin disease, tuberculosis, jaundice and so on. (Khan et al., 2016)
It has been found that the occupational death or injury (in most of the cases) in RMG sector of Bangladesh caused by the following determinants- Lack of proper ventilation, Inefficient lighting system, inadequate escape path, Wrong or illegal eclectic connection and wiring design, Careless smoking, Lack of air circulation, Inadequate number of stairs, Narrow stairs, Excess level of heat generation, Unplanned structure etc. (Ahmed & Hossain, 2009).
Old machineries or elements create higher risk for the workers of RMG sector of Bangladesh. Higher authority or owners’ negligence regarding this sensitive issue is clearly visible though this may lead to the mild or intense injury (Akram, 2014).

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