ILO pushes Bangladesh to improve work safety standards The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has called on Bangladesh to act quickly to improve its work safety laws — in the wake of the April 24 factory collapse in Savar, near Dhaka.

More than 500 workers were killed when the Rana Plaza building, which housed a garment factory, fell to the ground with some 3,000 workers inside.

The ILO, which has sent a mission to Bangladesh to investigate, also stressed that international firms operating there must ensure their local partners respect safety standards.

Gilbert Houngbo, Deputy Director-General for Field Operations for the ILO, said:

“I believe in the immediate and short term it is important to have all the factories that are active – we are talking about 6,500 factories to be inspected – and all the findings and the
recommendations need to lead to remedial actions. And in doing that, the government will have to work with the owners and the employers’ association.”

Engineer Adbur Razzak became the ninth person to be arrested in connection with the disaster. He had warned that the Rana Plaza was unsafe shortly before it fell, but he was also involved in its construction.

Bangladesh is the second-largest garment exporter in the world – with more than half of the clothes going to Europe.

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