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Implement Labour Act to stop bonfire

Published : Sunday, 25 July, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 1158
Farhana Rahman

Farhana Rahman

Farhana Rahman

The Labour Act of Bangladesh was established in2006. The Act was recognized in order to legalize issues about workers working in commercial & manufacturing enterprises. By this Act,   factories should regulate issues about - working hours, vacations, wages & safety concern as well. It has been more than 15 years of establishment of the Labour Act of Bangladesh. Still there is no implementation of this Act in large & prominent companies of Bangladesh. As a result, a number of human tragedies erupted in major factories of the country most of which were inferno wreaked havoc.

In Bangladesh we all know about 'Shejan Juice'. Shejan Juice Company is one of the largest & prominent companies in Bangladesh. On 8th July, 2021, around 5: 00 pm there a monstrous fire broke out in the factory located at Rupganj in Narayanganjleaving 52 workers dead and more than 50 workersinjured. This grievous incident created a lot of harm to workers of that factory.A foremost ground behind the tragedy wasthe negligence on the part of owners and authority of Shejan Juice Factory. They breached some provisions of Bangladesh Labour Act, hence  that fire tragedy was the outcome of breach of law.

Section 62 sub section (1) of Bangladesh Labour Act mentioned about precautions which have to be abode by a factory owner in order to ensure fire safety of a factory. By the statement of rescued workers, it was revealed that there wasn't any proper fire safety measures in the Shejan juice factory building. There was also lack of fire-fighting equipment. Every factory authority is bound to follow the provision. They should have proper & enough measurements & equipment as well. In addition, as outlined in the provision, there should be at least one alternative staircase attached with every floor for the purpose of emergency use. According to law, there should have been at least five to six alternative staircases in total in that building. But, there were only two alternative staircases.

According to section 62 sub section (3) any exit way/door from any room of a factory should not remain locked or fixed firmly. The main gate and only exit of that building remained locked during the spread of fire suggesting the concerned authority's no respect towards law. Exit pathways of each and every room should be easily accessible at any time. There should not be any obstacle in the exit way and main gate as well.  

It is mentioned on section 78(A) that, no owner should engage any worker to his factory without providing enough safety equipment & ensuring uses of safety equipment. It also stated about making awareness of the hazards of work through training to workers of factories.

There is no proper management in Bangladesh in order to train up industrial or commercial workers about safety issues and use of safety equipment. No factory owner is providing enough equipment to his factory workers and ensuring every workers safeguard. As a result, recurrence of bonfire in the major factories of our country cannot be stopped.

The solitary resolution to stop factory accidents of Bangladesh by following Labour Act provisions is the demand of time. Not only the owners but also the workers should be maintaining all provisions about safety. Government regulatory agencies cannot avoid their liablity for such kind of incidents.

DIFE has to be more conscientious in the function of monitoring industrial buildings. Government's industrial and commercial regulatory agencies main responsibility is to find out legal loophole son factory buildings. They have to pressurize factory owners to maintain safety guidelines properly as well force take necessary steps to ensure each and every worker's safety. Life of every worker should be given the top priority anyway. It has to be remembered that their life is directly interweaved with national economic growth. Workers safety depends on owner's apposite maintenance.
The writer is a student of North South University, Department of Law

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