The garment sector in Bangladesh is witnessing unprecedented disruption, as well as the concerning health factors presented by COVID-19. Cancellation of export orders, much needed national measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and a constrained supply of raw materials has resulted in severe shocks for the garment sector.
As factories started to reopen on a limited scale despite rising coronavirus cases in Bangladesh, there is a real risk of the virus’s spread in garment factories if proper health and safety measures are not put in place.
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and its potential spread in factories, Better Work Bangladesh (BWB) has developed a critical and comprehensive set of guidelines to help employers, workers and respective committee members ensure and maintain safe and healthy workplaces.
Following its publication on 22 April, the COVID-19 Management Guidance along with the OSH Checklist (বাংলা) gained traction and is being used by partner organisations to identify risk levels in workplace settings and to determine appropriate measures to ensure safe and healthy workplaces.
The Guidance has been prepared based on the guidelines from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIEF), the World Health Organization (WHO) and other relevant institutions.
It provides medical information about the virus, ways to prevent it spreading through a set of administrative and engineering controls as well as disinfection processes. The guidance suggests practical actions for equipping the in-house medical centers and medical staffs, proper use of PPE and identification and isolation of potential and confirmed cases of COVID-19 and safe transportation management practices.
A key recommendation is that the best way to control COVID-19 is to systematically prevent it from entering the workplace in the first place.
The Guidance also includes an ‘OSH checklist’ which can be used as a self-reporting tool for factories for managing the COVID-19 situation in the workplace.
Additional guidance may be needed as COVID-19 outbreak conditions change, including as new information about the virus, its transmission, and impacts become available.
Learn more about the industry updates and our response to COVID-19 crisis in Bangladesh.