Workplace Safety: Lack of coordination and trust- deficit among workers, employers and government major hurdles to introduce positive reforms in labor sector

Karachi: Lack of coordination and trust- deficit among the workers, employers and government are the major hurdles to introduce positive reforms in labor sector and needs special attention from all segments of society including media to improve the situation through awareness.

Labour Department Sindh has registered 913 new industrial units in short period of two months and 60 unit owners have been prosecuted for not implementing labor laws and safety measurements. “Such a large number of industrial units had not been registered in last 65 years as in just two month,” Secretary Labor Department Sindh Arif Elahi said in a press conference held here Tuesday at Committee Hall, Labor Department.

Arif Elahi said the department compensated the families of 214 victims of Baldia fire tragedy and the heirs of remaining 45 victims will get compensation after DNA test reports. He said those who lost job in Baldia town incident have been accommodated in other industrial units.

Labor Department Sindh in collaboration with International Labor Organization (ILO), Employers’ Federation of Pakistan (EFP) and Pakistan Workers’ Federation (PWF) is proposing to develop a joint action plan for promoting awareness on workplace safety and health. As a first step, a high level tri-partite consultation “Promoting Workplace safety & Health in Sindh” is being organized on 6th December at a local hotel in Karachi, he told.

This consultation will generate recommendations from tri-partite plus stakeholders that will help develop plan of action to reduce chance of re-occurrence of factory fires like the unfortunate one in Baldia town Karachi. The workshop will also help secure a joint statement of commitment from employers, workers and government to help in adopting measures of safety for the workers at workplace. Following three key themes around which the high level tri-partite plus consultations will take place: Occupational Safety and Health-Legislation and OSH issues, Labor Inspection -Role of Labor Inspection to promote Safe work and Work Injury Insurance Scheme- Existing Social Protection Practices.

Federal Secretary Ahsan Raja and Mr. Francesco d’ Ovidio ILO Country Director Pakistan will also be present in the workshop.

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