Health guidelines violated in factories

Staff Correspondent | Published: 01:13, Jun 22,2020

The country’s small and medium-scale industries are not following health guidelines regarding COVID19 that has resulted in a surge in cases of infection among the workers.

The Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments has launched a special inspection in the factories on May to ensure health guidelines in the industrial units to contain coronavirus infection and the department found that small and medium-scale factories are not completely following the guidelines, sources said.

Meanwhile, the number of infections has been increasing every day in industrial areas and a total of 417 workers of 174 factories in six industrial zones under the jurisdiction of Industrial Police tested positive for corona virus and five of them died till Sunday.

The DIFE, however, said a total of 280 workers were so far infected with the virus.

The DIFE officials said that most of the large scale factories were running their works complying with COVID19 guidelines.

Maintaining social distancing in small and medium factories is a big challenge, they said.

According to the sources, the DIFE started special Inspection in the factories from May 4 and inspected a total of 3,403 industrial units until June 18.

The department declined to disclose the details of the inspection outcome but said there were some problems in small and medium-scale factories in implementing health guidelines.

A number of inspection reports of the department, however, showed that social distancing was not maintained in most of the factories.

For example, Gazipur office of the DIFE inspected 15 factories on June 4 and found that social distancing was not maintained in 13 units.

Inspectors found that a factory was running maintaining health guidelines fully and lack of monitoring in wearing personal protective equipment in another factory.

DIFE inspector general Shibnath Roy said that large factories were complying with health guidelines but they found violation in small and medium factories.

According to the DIFE data a total of 280 workers contracted the virus and the number is less than one per cent of total infected people in the country.

Industrial police data show that the infection among the workers was almost doubled in last 20 days and the number of infected workers was 251 on June 1 and it reached 417 on June 21.

Out of the 417 infected workers, 311 are from 99 Apparel factories registered with Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, the IP data showed.

It also showed that 36 workers tested positive from 24 non-RMG factories and 70 from 51 factories under Export Processing Zones are coronavirus infected.