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Workplace accidents killed 1,053 in 2021

A total of 1,053 workers were killed and 594 others injured in workplace accidents across the country in 2021. 147 workers were tortured to death and 125 were injured at their workplaces due to violence. There were 431 incidents of labour unrest in different sectors, of which 162 were in the readymade garments sector.

Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies-BILS published the report on January 9, 2022 titled “Newspaper-based BILS survey on labour and workplace Situation in Bangladesh in 2021”.  The survey report was made on the basis of news published in different national newspapers regarding workplace accidents, violence, and workers’ unrest.

According to the survey, 1053 workers died in workplace accidents in 2021, of which 1003 were male and 50 were female. According to the sector, the highest number of 513 workers died in the transport sector. The second highest number of 154 workers died in the construction sector. The third highest number of 87 workers died in the agricultural sector. Besides, 55 food processing workers, 46 day labourers, 27 in fisheries and fisheries workers, 24 in water transport workers, 18 in migrant workers, 12 ship breaking workers, 11 in electric sector, 4 RMG workers and in other 102 workers were killed such as brick kiln, hawker, rice mill, steel mill, mechanics, Etc. sectors.  It may be mentioned that in 2020, 729 workers died in various sectors due to workplace accidents, out of which 723 were male and 6 were female.

In 2021, 594 workers were injured in workplace accidents, of which 471 were male and 23 were female. A maximum of 176 workers were injured in the fisheries sector. In the second highest 80 workers injured in the transport sector. The third highest 45 workers were injured in the construction sector. Besides, 44 in ship breaking industry, 35 in the food processing industry, 35 in the water transport sector, 23 in the chemical industry, 22 in dying industry, 22 in the manufacturing industry, 19 in agriculture, 19 in day labour, 5 in RMG and 59 workers were injured in other sectors.

It may be mentioned that in 2020, 433 workers were injured in various workplace accidents, out of which 387 were male and 46 were female.

Road accidents, electrocutions, thunderstorms, fires, falling from above, falling objects, toxic gases, wall/roof collapses, cylinder explosions, etc. are some of the causes of accidents at workplaces.

According to the survey, 91 workers were killed and 114 injured on their way to work in 2021. Of these, including 12 women workers, 62 workers were killed on their way to work and including 4 women workers, 29 workers were killed on their way back from work. On the other hand, 97 workers including 21 women workers were injured on their way to work and 17 workers were injured on their way back from work.

According to the survey, at least 286 workers, including 232 males and 54 females, were tortured at their workplaces in 2021. Of them, 147 died, 125 were injured, 6 were missing, 2 committed suicide, 5 were rescued and 1 did not mention the type of torture. The highest number of 99 workers was victims in the transport sector, of which 76 were killed, 19 were injured, 2 were missing, and 2 abducted workers were rescued by the police with their hands and legs tied. The second highest number of 38 workers was victims in the domestic workers, of which 12 were killed, 24 were injured, 2 committed suicide. Third highest number of 28 workers was victims in the fisheries and fishing sector, of which 5 were killed, 19 were injured, 4 were missing. In the security guard 26 workers was victims, of which 14 were killed, 11 were injured and 1 were rescued by the police with their hands and legs tied. In agriculture sector 22 workers was victims, of which 15 were killed, 7 were injured. It may be mentioned that in 2020, 232 workers was victims in workplace violence.

At least 300 workers, including 215 males and 85 females, were tortured at out of workplaces in 2021. Of them, 191 died, 70 injured, 3 were missing, 26 committed suicide, 8 were rescued and 2 were not mentioned. The highest number of 87 workers was victims in the RMG sector, of which 30 were killed, 37 were injured, 2 were missing, 13  were committed suicide, 3 abducted workers were rescued by the police with their hands and legs tied and 2 were not mentioned. The second highest number of 45 workers was victims in the transport sector, of which 38 were killed, 3 were injured and 4 were committed suicide. Third highest 36 workers were victims in agriculture sector, of which 31 were killed, 4 were injured and 1 was committed suicide. In the construction sector 14 workers were victims, of which 13 were killed and 1 worker were committed suicide. In the manufacturing industry 14 workers was victims, of which 7 were killed, 3 were injured and 4 were rescued by the police with their hands and legs tied. It may be mentioned that in 2020 364 workers were victims in out of workplace violence.

In 2021, a total of 431 workplace unrest took place in different sectors. The highest number of 172 workplace unrest took place in the readymade garments sector. The second highest number of 50 workplace unrest took place in the transport sector. Third highest number of 36 workplace unrest took place in Jute industry. Besides, 23 in press media, 21 in Agriculture, 18 in suger mill, 12 in textile industry, 9 in biri industry, 9 in railway, 6 in food processing industry, 5 in hawker, 5 in migrant workers, and 66 in others industry.

During the workplace unrest, 6 workers were killed including 1 female, while 163 workers were injured. Among the injured workers, 122 were male and 41 were female. The highest 137 workers were injured in the garments industry during the unrest.

According to the survey, a maximum of 126 unrest took place for due wages. Besides, 115 for workers dissatisfied with their demands, 74 with their rights, 27 with demands for reopening closed factories, 26 with their demands for lay-offs, 22 with their demands for allowances, 16 with their demands for bonuses, and 29 with other demands. It may be mentioned that in 2020, a total of 593 workplace unrest took place in different sectors. Highest number of 264 workplace unrest took place in the readymade garments sector. Second highest number of 49 workplace unrest occurred in the jute industry.