Government introduces new workplace safety and registration protocols

ILO Posted at February 28th 2021 12:00 AM | Updated as of February 28th 2021 12:00 AM


Labour inspectorate launches four essential protocols aimed at improving industrial safety and inspections

DHAKA (ILO News) - With an aim to ensure decent working conditions in all workplaces across Bangladesh, the Department of Inspection of Factories and Establishments (DIFE) , under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, has formulated four Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to further improve its labour inspection services and governance.

In November 2020, the then Inspector General of DIFE, Mr Shibnath Roy officially approved the new SOPs aimed at i) improving the registration and licensing of organizations; ii) ensuring  the approval of factory layout plans; iii) documenting labour complaints and their related investigations; and iv) the investigation of occupational accidents.

According to DIFE data, the labour inspectors conducted 38,054 inspections in 2020, provided 7,616 new licences and renewed 27,811 existing licences for factories and establishments. During the same period, DIFE received 46 reports of workplace accidents and 4182 complaints, 69% of which were resolved.

Calling on DIFE’s labour inspectors and external stakeholders to help roll out and enforce the much-needed instruments, Mr Roy said, “These tools will help DIFE deliver its services to the doorsteps of employers and workers alike. These SOPs are aligned with the implementation strategy of DIFE and will help simplify and enhance the services provided by the department.”

With technical support from ILO’s Improving Working Conditions in the Ready-made Garment Sector Programme , numerous high-level consultations and financial assistance from the governments of Canada, Netherlands and the United Kingdom, the four SOPs were drafted by a team of senior DIFE officials.

The head of ILO’s RMG programme, George Faller said, “One of the ILO’s key strategic goals in Bangladesh is to improve industrial safety through good governance in the labour administration system and the nationwide promotion of occupational safety and health. As part of that process, our programme has been collaborating with DIFE for several years to help strengthen its management and reporting systems.”

“We hope these four SOPs will lead to better efficiency, transparency and accountability in the country’s labour inspectorate which will ultimately benefit all industries and their workers,” he added.

The SOP on ‘Labour Complaints and Investigation’ addresses the different types of grievance and labour-related complaints, the procedures for complaints submission and investigation, and post-investigation activities. The one on ‘Approval of Factory Layout Plan’ aims to simplify the application and approval processes for factory layout plans, and the procedures for any modification or expansion in a factory’s layout plans. 

The process of registration and licensing of organizations in the light of labour laws and regulations is addressed by the third SOP on the ‘Registration and Licensing of Organizations’.

The final SOP - ‘Investigation of Occupational Accidents’ - covers methods and strategies for investigating workplace accidents, accident diagnosis and follow-up steps, accident investigation checklists and samples of accident investigation reports.

The official Bangla copies of each of the four SOPs can be downloaded from DIFE’s website: