Tripartite meeting vows to ensure fire safety in Bangladesh

The government, employers and labour leaders have vowed to ensure fire safety measures in work place in Bangladesh. To materialise their commitment, all the three parties promised to work together to develop a national tripartite action plan on fire safety by the end of February, said a press release of the ILO published on its website on January 15. The stakeholder took the decision during a tripartite meeting jointly organised by ILO and The Ministry of Labour and Employment in Dhaka on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Labour and Employment; Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), two apex body of garment exporters; and other government ministries and departments took part in the meeting. The stakeholders' initiatives came against the backdrop of the Tazreen fire incident that claimed 111 lives late last year in Bangladesh. The stakeholders now face the challenge of formulating a comprehensive action plan to prevent any further loss of life, limb and property due to work place fires and fire-related accidents and incidents.

The meeting also discussed different issues related to fire safety during its daylong deliberations. The stakeholders also signed a statement expressing great sadness at the loss of lives at Tazreen Fashions Ltd and highlighted the necessity of tripartite actions to prevent similar occurrences in the future. It also calls for promoting the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006, the Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981, and other instruments of the ILO relevant to the framework for occupational safety and health.

In the statement, all the stakeholders have committed to fully abide by all relevant laws, regulations and procedures aimed at ensuring fire safety at work place. They called upon the international and national partners and stakeholders, including international development organisations, brands/buyers, donour agencies, and non-governmental organisations, to assist them in implementing the national tripartite action plan on fire safety, once finalised.

In this respect, they also requested the ILO to assist them in organising the necessary consultation meetings and technical support.