The government is yet to introduce a comprehensive national database or policy to manage and monitor the increasing amount of chemicals used in the country’s textile sector, said chemical experts yesterday.
Eventually, workplace safety, reducing accident and casualty and curbing work-related diseases are being hindered, they said.
They were addressing a symposium and workshop titled “Textile Chemical Safety and Management” at a Dhaka hotel.
Environmental Sustainability in Textile Industries, Department of Chemical Engineering of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), and Conference and Exhibition Management Service organised it.
While delivering a presentation on “Framework for Chemical Safety Management in Textile Sector”, Buet chemical engineering department head Prof Syeda Sultana Razia said the government has the responsibility to introduce a comprehensive legal framework, regulatory body, database and monitoring system, which must be complied with.
Citing an information ministry report published in 2017, she said over 11,000 workers suffer fatal accidents, 24,500 die from work-related diseases and eight million workers in the country endured injuries at work each year, as chemical safety management were overlooked.
Prof Razia said each factory must individually introduce documented policy incorporating training on chemical use and firefighting units.
During a presentation, Dr Md Easir Arafat Khan, assistant professor of the department at Buet, said excessive use of hydrogen, sulfide, nitrogen and methane in chemicals cause acute injury to human health.
Quoting a 2015 ILO statistics, he said every day approximately 6,400 people die from occupational diseases globally.
He said the overall costs of such accidents and diseases are often much greater than immediately perceived.
Commerce Secretary Mofizul Islam, Industries Secretary Abdul Halim, BGMEA Vice President Arshad Jamal Dipu and Knowledge one LLC President Dr Jack Chosnek were also present at the event.