Building code ignored
Md Joynal Abedin Khan: The ignoring of Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC) is leaving the deaths of construction workers across the country.
Around 14,306 workers died and 30,000 more injured in connection with the construction work in buildings, roads, bridges and other infrastructure based establishments during last ten years, said a survey of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS).
A total of 37,00,000 workers also are doing their jobs with taking high live risk, it mentioned.
Also Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB), a real estate trade body of the country said, more than 150,00,000 workers are involved with the construction works across the country.
Meanwhile another report of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital claimed that the paradise number of the construction workers among the injured crossed over 30,000 in the last decade.
The contractors and building owners are always show indifference to ensure the safety of the workers by taking the lacking of monitoring of the onlookers and respective agencies of the government that are supposed to ensure safety and security of the workers, according to Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE), a specialised labor foundation.
Such death incidents have been accelerated alarmingly due to ignorance of maintaining the safety measures and carelessness, experts said. The victimised fortune seekers do not get any compensation and financial assistance as they are temporary recruited by the contractors and builders on a daily basis, they said.
According to RAJUK, around 21.50 lakh buildings under sixth floor and 88,000 from seventh floor to 25th floor among 25 lakh establishments, where workers performing the duties with high risk of lives.
As per the Building Code Act -2014, a laborer mandatorily wear helmet while engaging any construction task, to wear water gloves during work of concrete and to use glass for drilling, welding and molding as well as safety boot, belt and apron during the other such works, which are now remain almost absence among the workers.
According to section 78/A (1) of Labour Act, the contractors bound to ensure the laborer safety and security by providing safety equipments and monitoring the usage of these to maintain the record of details in official files.
As per section 78/A (3) of Labour Act, every worker has right to know the risk of the work and to learn the safety measures from occurring accidents.
BILS Consultant Khandakar Abdus Salam said that maximum provisions of building code are being denied by the builders and owners as the building accidents costing lives and assets as well as hindering the social safety.
The lack of training for the workers and awareness also being considered to raise the committing accidents in the building throughout the country, he commented.
BILS Joint Secretary General Wazed-ul Islam Khan said that a good number of accidents also remain out of census due to lack of monitoring of the authorities concerned.
REHAB President Alamgir Shamsul Alamin said that there are 1,500 member companies are engaged in house building business, which are training for about 15,000 workers last one year.
The government should take the responsibility to ensure the use of safety equipments of the workers, he added.
Professor Sekendar Ali of Civil Engineering Department at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) said, “Professionals including civil engineers, architects and planners involved with any construction work will remain legally liable and answerable for any lapses in the professional responsibility according to BNBC.”
The Building Construction Act of 1953, amended in 2006, provides for punishment with seven years of imprisonment or a fine for Tk 50,000 or both in case of violation of the BNBC and the Building Construction Rules of 2006.