Legal compliance for shipbreaking workers

In a national consultation on legal compliance and effective labour inspection at shipbreaking yards, the speakers underscored the need for a holistic approach of government, owners and labour rights organisations to secure proper enforcement of labour laws at shipyards.

The consultation meeting was organized by OSHE foundation held on October 12 at Hotel Agrabad in Chittagong. Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) inspector general Md. Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan was present while OSHE executive director A R Chowdhury Repon was in the chair.

National for Industries, Health and Safety Council member Brig Gen (Rtd) Abu Nayeem Mohammad Shahidullah, DIFE deputy inspector general Md Mahfuzur Rahman Bhuiyan and Md Abdul Hai Khan, assistant inspector general (safety) Sharif Ahmed Azad Sajib and Mizanur Rahman Jony, and labour inspector Md Shah Alam, among others, attended the meeting.

OSHE vice chairperson Dr S M Morshed during the discussion said safety committees were formed among 48 out of 55 shipbreaking yards. ‘There is a question how effective they are,’ he added.

OSHE executive director A R Chowdhury Repon said the government should incorporate the recommendations of all parties to enact ship recycling law.

Government representatives from Department of Environment, Ministry of Labour and Employment, shipbreaking yard owners and managers, labour organizers, shipbreaking workers and victim of shipbreaking yard accident took part in the program.

Present situation of occupational health and safety in the yards, challenges and way forward of effective labour inspection and formation of safety committees were discussed at the meeting.

The discussants recommended proper enforcement of labour laws at every yards, formation of effective safety committees, information collection of workplace accidents and risk reduction training by the government.

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