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383 killed in workplace accidents in 2010

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Press Release

383 killed in workplace accidents in 2010

Dhaka, Jan 11, 2011: Some 383 workers were killed in 270 workplace accidents across the country in 2010 while 265 workers killed in 2009 in 227 workplace accidents.

Safety and Rights Society, an NGO working for ensuring safety and rights of workers, today revealed the report after monitoring 26 daily newspapers (15 national and 11 local newspapers) during the period. The reasons behind the workplace accidents have also been pointed out in the report based on the observations as the organisation investigated 65 workplace accidents across the country during the period. The injured workers in the incidents were not counted in the report.

Of the total, the highest number of workers (152) was killed in factories and other manufacturing organisations, followed by construction sites (142), service organisations like hotel, workshop, power supply organisation (63) and others (26).

Of the total victim workers, 98 were electrocuted while 92 were burnt to death, 51 died after falling from high places like scaffolds, and 26 workers were killed by suffocation from poisonous gas.

116 other workers died from various reasons including boiler, chemical or gas explosions, earth, roof or wall collapsed, hit by hard objects and entangled with machines.

Sekender Ali Mina, programme director of Safety and Rights, said the number of deaths set out in the report is likely be a severe underestimation of the total number of deaths, since many deaths are not reported in the newspapers.

The organisation observes that most of the electrocutions occurred when iron rods carried by construction workers came into contact with live electric lines passing near the under-construction buildings.

It also observes that the workers fall victims of electrocution, as they do not take safety measures wearing helmet, gloves, shoes etc during the work. The main reason why workers fell from high places was due to poorly made scaffolds (macha).

The organisation suggested proper monitoring of regulatory bodies including RAJUK, factory inspectorate to enforce relevant laws, separate health and safety policy for respective organisation, safety plan before construction work, providing proper PPE (personal protective equipment) free of cost, health and safety training and right technology for right person.