ILO calls for ensuring protection of chemical storage in Bangladesh
Own Correspondent, Dhaka, June 7: The United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) has expressed its deepest condolences over the loss of half a hundred lives in a devastating fire at BM container depot in Chittagong's Sitakunda. In a statement issued on Monday (June 6), they also called for ensuring adequate security measures for the storage and handling of chemicals in Bangladesh.
The statement said the ILO was deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life of at least 49 people, including nine fire service personnel, in a fire and explosion at BM container depot in southeastern Bangladesh on June 4. The UN body also extended its deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims.
The accident highlighted the importance of ensuring proper management and storage of chemicals in Bangladesh, as well as the proper training and awareness of staff and the ability to control crowds in emergencies. The event also highlighted the need for an effective industrial safety framework and training system to ensure a structured approach to mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery of all hazards. This requires strong cooperation and partnership between government departments, employers and workers' representatives, and civil society.
The statement further said that steps need to be taken in various fields to address this problem. This includes reviewing legislation and its application in the transportation and logistics sectors; Provide adequate compensation and earnings assistance to the families of injured, disabled and workers killed in work accidents, and conduct safety operations targeting all types of emergency services as well as transportation or logistics.
According to the ILO, the UN agency is working closely with the government, employers and labour organizations and development partners to improve the working environment in all industries in Bangladesh by expanding the lessons learned from the garment sector following the Rana Plaza tragedy in April, 2013.