In the last seven years, Bangladesh’s garment industry has increased its annual revenue from $19 billion to $34 billion, which is a spectacular 79% growth. This makes our country the second largest exporter of garments in the world that accounts for 80% of the nation’s total export earnings.
Better labor regulations and safety conditions in recent years have played an important role in this growth. With these improvements in place, Bangladesh has become an attractive option for international clothing brands, especially those looking to diversify manufacturing locations
The garment industry which includes companies like Posh Garments employs around 4.4 million people. Most of them are women and the industry contributes more than 11% to the country’s GDP.
Despite several incidents in the past, the compliance and safety standards in some of the factories have improved tremendously. It was an extremely difficult task for the majority of the garment factory owners to spend millions to improve the conditions with very little contributions from the buyers and external sources.
One of the recent successful initiatives is the formation of the Ready-Made Garments (RMG) Sustainability Council (RSC), which is a permanent safety monitoring body in the RMG sector in Bangladesh. The RSC is a private initiative of the Bangladesh Industry leaders, global brands, and local trade unions.
Posh Garments Ltd has taken part in a detailed training program undertaken by the RSC to train the respective members of the company’s employees to reduce risk and accident in the workplace; increase awareness among all workers and staffs about safety issue so that everyone can identify the hazards and best practices.
A total of eight training sessions were held between the period of April 2018 and November 2020. Each session was conducted for 3 hours and the last training was conducted online due to the covid-19 pandemic.
The training session comprised of the following vital points:
The Principles of health and safety.
Factory inspection procedure by ACCORD.
Safety committee and security complaints.
Hazard identification and control in the workplace.
Communication skills and joint problem-solving.
Safety monitoring method
Health hazard and the right to a safe workplace.
Common Occupational health hazards in RMG factories.
The following key members of Posh Garments’ safety committee have received recognition letters from the RSC:
1. Mobinur Rahman, GM-HR, Admin & Compliance (President of the safety committee)
2. Monowara Begum (Moyna), Sr. Operator (Vise president of safety committee)
3. Shamsunnahar, Sr. Welfare Officer (Member Secretary of safety committee)
4. Gazi Muhammad Al Mamun, Sr. Officer-Compliance (Member of safety committee)
5. Md. Rafiqul Islam, Officer-Maintenance (Member of safety committee)
Md. Nurul Islam, Fire safety Officer (Member of safety committee)
6. Faruk, Packing man (Member of safety committee)
7. Yeasmin, Sr. operator (Member of safety committee)
8. Halima, Sr. Operator (Member of safety committee)
In June 2020, the International Labor Organization has reported that 1,690 factories are in compliance with fire and building safety standards, and 655 factories are in compliance with worker safety standards.
Demand for training programs such as the ones undertaken by RMG Sustainability Council has also increased. Relevant authorities have also shut down 59 manufacturing units so far this year for failing to comply with new regulations. These increased safety measures and commendable workplace atmosphere are the big reason why the world’s largest brands are increasing their presence in Bangladesh.