Workplace accidents on rise countrywide
At least 202 workers were killed in 147 workplace accidents across the country during the last six months, said a report revealed yesterday mentioning that about 158 workers were killed in 129 accidents during the same period last year.
Safety and Rights Society, an NGO, made the report based on monitoring 26 daily newspapers (15 national and 11 local newspapers) between January 1 and June 30 last, which did not include the deaths of workers outside workplaces or road accidents on the way to or return from workplaces.
The report says 76 workers were killed on construction sites while 61 in factories and 47 in service organisations like hotels, workshops, power supply organisations. Besides, five workers of agriculture and 13 of transport sector were killed during this period.
Similar to the previous years, the highest number of deaths involved electrocutions, with 49 deaths. Around 29 workers were killed in fire incidents while 23 others died after being crushed under falling machinery or heavy load or hard objects.
Executive Director of Safety and Rights Sekender Ali Mina said the actual number of the workplace deaths is almost certainly to be more than the numbers set out in the report as many workplace deaths are not reported in newspapers.
He stressed the need for significantly greater efforts on the parts of employers and owners to take measures to reduce the level of risks that workers suffer.
The report mentioned that most of the electrocutions occurred when iron rods carried by construction workers came into contact with live electric wires passing near the under-construction buildings or when the workers were involved in construction work or worked as an electrician.
The workers fall victim to electrocution as they are not provided protective gear like helmets, gloves and shoes in workplace, it said.
Safety and Rights, which works for ensuring safety and rights of workers, suggested proper enforcement of the laws by regulatory bodies like Rajuk, and the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishment.
Sekender Ali said employers should establish health and safety policies for their respective organisations, put in place a safety plan before undertaking construction work, provide proper personal protective equipment free of cost and ensure holding of a regular fire drill and health and safety training to stop such workplace accidents.