Desk Report: Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and Nirapon, an alliance of brands and buyers working for worker safety in Bangladesh based in North America, have jointly come forward to identify challenges related to fire safety and to assess existing capacity to address the challenges. A seminar titling ‘Fire Safety in Bangladesh’s RMG sector and beyond’ was held on 7th November 2019 in the ITN Hall of BUET.
A wide range of participants from the government, industry and the UN (ACCORD, BKMEA, BSTI, DCC South, ex DG of Fire Service Civil Defense (FSCD), Institute of Engineers (IEB), ILO, Occupational Health, Safety and Health Foundation (OSHE), PWD, RMG buyers (brands), RMG labour representative and Shadharan Bima Corporation held a robust discussion that highlighted the critical importance of Proper coordination among government agencies in the processes of design approval and subsequent compliance monitoring of structures for fire safety; Institutionalized training and education to create competent professionals in the field; Preventive maintenance of fire safety equipment; Arranging fire drills on a regular basis.
Participants agreed that although key stakeholders such as of BGMEA, DIFE, Ministry of Industries, Ministry of Labour and Employment, FSCD and Rajuk were unable to attend this seminar, their active presence will be important to sustainable fire safety in Bangladesh.
An immediate outcome of the seminar was the establishment of a technical working group to review the draft BNBC and recommend appropriate modifications to strengthen the fire protection section of the BNBC 2017 which is currently awaiting for approval.