Before possibly the Covid-19 pandemic brought in another layer of health hazard and employment insecurity for Bangladesh's garment workers, mounting social and public pressure and rising consumer expectations after a series of factory fires and setting up collapses had put the garment personnel in Bangladesh at a crossroads and many factory owners were trying to exceed meeting their legal requirements to protect their workers and act extra proactively and responsibly. Creating workplaces that are secure for their workers and preventing injury, condition and disease, is one manner in which factories can fulfill these growing anticipations. Injuries, ailments and disabilities at the place of work cause physical, monetary and mental hardship for individual personnel and their families. These end result in lack of business, reduced efficiency and damaged standing for the factory owners aswell. In industrialised countries with strong protective guidelines and practices at work, health insurance and safety of workers have improved to a great extent plus they are now incorporating a wide range of worksite wellness and health promotion programmes because of their workers to live healthy. The vast majority of workers who will be evaluated and cared for for condition or injury go back to work without unpredicted delays there. Even so, this is simply not the case in reference poor countries like Bangladesh. Factory owners still need to see the interconnection between protecting and endorsing workers' health and increasing productivity and competitiveness. However, the Covid-19 pandemic will hinder all progresses made by the factory owners as they are nowadays in challenging for survival.
Attention has centered on garment personnel' physical safety arising from building circumstances and fire hazards even though their even more ordinarily present chronic health issues have mainly been ignored by all stakeholders. One of such highly prevalent persistent health issue among these workers is pain within their body. Given the very tediousness of their work and staying in a sitting situation often awkwardly the whole day, body discomfort is unsurprisingly a major wellbeing hazard in this human population. However, pain within the body could be addressed with noted, effective and inexpensive interventions.
According to 1 study commissioned by the Alliance to get Bangladesh Worker Safe practices (the UNITED STATES Retailers' group) garment personnel reported on the knowledge and awareness burning safety issues. This survey using a big sample size also had inquiries on chronic health issues like prevalence of human body pain. About 50 % of the personnel surveyed reported to possess neck pain and soreness in legs and feet towards the end of a typical work day. About 45 % reported bad headaches and 38.6 % reported pain in hands and hands. Back discomfort was reported by 35.8 % and sore eyes by 21.7 per cent. Stomach soreness was reported by 1/5 of the respondents and waist soreness by 17 %. An additional question in this study broke down body soreness by jobs/departments which shed additional light to recognize high risk areas of occupation groups. Responding to the problem: do you feel pain after a complete day of work, personnel from departments like Packing, Sewing, Finishing and Top quality Control reported very high prevalence of soreness (about 70 per cent or even more). About 50 % staff in departments like Storage space, Cutting, Cleansing, Embroidery, Ironing as well reported suffering from pain.
These are incredibly gloomy findings; millions of Bangladeshi garment workers who are making dresses for western sellers and consumers are going back residence each night with so much soreness afflicting their malnourished human body and not many reports contain reported or investigated this matter before or attempted to actually address these discomfort stressors at the place of work.
Granted the nature of that survey, it cannot be ascertained if these pain conditions were arising just from their work types of conditions as non-work stressors could also contribute to this anguish. These findings are very alarming and deserve instant and considerable amount of interest from all stakeholders. Offered the nature of their careers and working position and positions of these workers, it is not surprising that throat, legs/feet, arms, hands and again and waist discomfort are therefore pervasive and attested. Sustained sitting down or standing in frequently awkward positions, machines not adjusted to body height and positon, chairs certainly not modified or aligned to overall body height or posture could explain many of these findings. They work for very long hours per day often extended further with overtime plus they work nearly every day in a week. Some of these pain may also arise from chronic strain that may develop from their work and non-work related lifestyle events and issues.
These health conditions may elucidate at least partially why the garment personnel cannot have a complete tenure career like the majority of others; in basic, they do not work for about 25 to 30 years like the majority of other regular production type jobs in different sectors of the country. With so much soreness afflicting them, it is pretty likely that they run out of their stamina quite early on in life and frequently quit garment factory task in their mid or overdue thirties.
With appropriate controls and active ergonomic interventions, several discomfort conditions could be made somewhat less burdensome for them. Allowing the employees take frequent breaks, training them to extend their body including throat, shoulder and legs at standard intervals, training them to improve body positions more regularly throughout a work shift are very simple and economical interventions to put into practice. Some light body stretching exercises they can practise in the home could be promoted as well. Eye pain can be related to their sustained and close focus on sewing, dealing with small things and engaging with wearisome equipment operations. The fact that one fifth of these staff are reporting about painful eye is a grave selecting for their long-term vision wellbeing. Maintaining correct and sufficient light strength at the factory flooring and permitting them to take frequent and short breaks can reduce serious strain on the eyes.
These findings highlight lots of the unmet desires of the garment employees who are making apparel for the Western marketplace and driving our economic growth while they lack access to very simple worksite benefits, programmes, policies and facilities. Conducting pre-employment and then periodic or annual health screening could be a starting place to take proper care of this workforce. Research should consider how regulatory enforcement, knowing of care companies and workplace-based interventions succeed in improving garment staff' health and wellness. Creating consciousness domestically and internationally on garment employees' health should be a priority.
Once this pandemic subsides, it will be in the best fascination of the western corporations, Bangladesh government, donor countries, aid companies, NGOs and consumer groups to re-channel assets and offer further tech support team to the factory owners to continue improving the health of garment workers. A wholesome and successful garment workforce will advantage us all.