Another worker killed at Bangladesh shipbreaking yard

18.04.2016

Toxic gas inhalation causes death of one shipbreaking worker with another battling for life.

On 15 April 2016, Biplob (22) and Jasim (27) were exposed to toxic gases while they were working at the shipyard of the Premium Trade Corporation, owned by Manik at Baro aowlia area.

According to the Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health & Environment Foundation, the accident took place at around 3.30 pm and the yard management sent the injured workers to the Chittagong Medical College Hospital for treatment. However, Biplob died at the hospital, while Jasim is in serious conditions.

As of today, six workers have lost their lives in less than four months of 2016 at Bangladeshi shipbreaking yards.

On 28 March a worker died in an accident at the Kabir Steel Yard and seven people were injured as security guards opened fire on workers and the local community protesting the death of the worker. On this occasion, Jyrki Raina, general secretary of IndustriALL, condemned the incident in the strongest terms and in a letter to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh called on the government “to ensure that accident victims are provided appropriate compensation and to punish employers who operate shipbreaking yards with gross negligence.”

Yet another death in quick succession confirms that shipbreaking employers continue to operate yards without adequate safety standards. The government’s inaction in ensuring safe working environment for shipbreaking workers continues to claim lives.

Kan Matsuzaki, director for shipbuilding and shipbreaking states, “We will strengthen our action to combat the unacceptable working conditions in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh government have to implement what they promised and secure the workers’ lives now!”

IndustriALL repeats its demand and urges the government to immediately implement the newly revised Bangladesh Ship Recycling Act 2015. The government should accelerate steps to ratify the Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.