Spring 2001

Assessment Of Working Environment Of Garments Industries

Mohammad Habibur Rahman, Muhammad Rubaiyat Zaman, Md. Al-Muzahid

Investigation of occupational health and safety problem in four selected garment industries has been carried out in this study. A working method has been developed to carry out this investigation, based on the Work Environmental Theory, Local Theory, Theory about Implementation Processes and National Factory Acts and Regulation. According to the working method four factories were investigated. The management and workers at different locations of four factories were interviewed and some people from other organizations, working with garment industries and having some role on occupational health and safety issues in the garment industries were also interviewed. After investigation it was found that these factories suffer work related problems like dust (55%), high and uncomfortable temperature (50%), chemical exposure from fabrics (30%), high noise level (25%), poor ventilation system and repetitive work. It was also noticed that the workers and management were afraid of fire in the work place. Beside the occupational health and safety problems the workers complained about low wages, abuse of labor rights and uncertainty of the job as well. It was observed that the occupational health and safety conditions of a factory depended not only on the internal factors like workers behavior (understanding and reactions about the work related problems), management behavior, stability of business (agreement with the buyers) and economical situation of the factory, but also on the external factors like work environment regulation, practical condition of enforcement of work environment regulation, behavior of street level bureaucrat, government attitude in relation to enforcement of the working environment regulation and socioeconomic situation of the country.