A total of 898 workers were killed and 341 others injured in workplace accidents across the country in 2018.
The number of death victims declined in the outgoing year than that of the previous couple of years – 1,242 in 2017 and 1,240 in 2016.
Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE) revealed the figures in a report that was placed at a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity in the city on Thursday, 27 December 2018.
OSHE Executive Director A. R. Chowdhury Repon read out the findings of the report, which was prepared based on 15 national newspapers and information collected by their own staff members from the spots.
The transport sector witnessed the highest number of death victims. And, a total of 157 workers were killed in formal sector accidents while the rest 741 in informal sector.
The highest 281 workers were killed in transport sector, 163 in construction sector and 28 in apparel sector.
Besides, 108 death victims were from agriculture sector, including those killed in lightning strikes, 12 domestic workers, seven steel and re-rolling mill workers,19 ship-breaking workers, and 206 from other sectors.
According to the report, the causes of casualties were road accidents, thunderbolt, electrification, collapsing, soil or stone pressed, collapse of buildings or walls or building materials, trapped in toxic gases, or breathing complexities, fire, physical abuse and metallic injuries.
The foundation recommended beefing up the security measures and surveillance, increasing boiler inspections and transforming the boiler inspection department into a directorate to improve the workplace safety.
It also suggested effective implementation of health and safety measures in accordance with the Bangladesh Labor Act (Amended 2018) and Labor Rules 2015.
Besides, the report recommended increasing the number of specialised doctors for medical treatment for the workers and establishing a separate hospital for the workers engaged in garment industry.
It also stressed the need for providing financial assistance to the victim families and the injured workers in the informal sector from the Bangladesh Workers’ Welfare Fund under the Ministry of Labor and Employment.
Bangladesh Free Trade Union Congress Secretary Lutfunnahar Lutfa, the Federation of Garments Workers General Secretary China Rahman, OSHE Program Officer Shazzad Kabir Bhuiyan and workplace victim from ship-breaking sector Md. Abul Kalam were present.