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Registered Organization

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Safety and Rights Society (SRS)

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Summary of organization

Safety and Rights Society (SRS)is a local not-for-profit organisation, registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 (Joint Stock Companies and Firms’ Reg. No. S-10280, Date: 8 October 2009) and Foreign Donation (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Rules 1978 (NGO Affairs Bureau’s Reg. No. 2659, Date: 29 September 2011). We work to ensure the overall decent working conditions at the very least in compliance with the law. We also work toward ensuring public protection from unacceptable risks from the food, the goods they purchase, the transport they use, or the work undertaken by others.

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Detail description of organization

Our key programmes is concerned with improving the health and safety conditions faced by workers in Bangladesh and consequently ensuring appropriate compensation according to the law for the dependent families and injured workers following a workplace death and injury.

In absence of accurate data from any authoritative national body, we are informed by the past estimation of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) that over 11,000 workers suffer fatal accidents and a further 24,500 die from work related diseases across all sectors each year in Bangladesh. It is also estimated that a further 8 million workers suffer injuries at work – many of which result in permanent disability.

Although health and safety legislation exists in Bangladesh, compliance is low and state enforcement is minimal. It is often difficult for even the best employers to comply with the law as they have a lot to improve on understanding of their legal obligations. Workers and trade unions are often puzzled on their actions.

These factors have resulted in a rare case of receiving law provided compensation by concerned parties for workers who are injured or killed at work. State bodies rarely bring those to account who are accused of negligence resulting death or injury. As a result, the families of the injured and deceased worker can fall into poverty.

Investigation of workplace deaths and injuries: With our partner organisations, we investigate workplace deaths throughout Bangladesh to understand the causes and circumstances of these deaths, provide legal assistance to families in obtaining compensation and help the labour inspectorate in considering whether enforcement action is necessary.

Enforcement of the Law: We work with the Inspectorate of Factories and Establishments, and other related enforcement bodies to improve the enforcement of health and safety lawTo that end, we undertake strategic public interest litigation in the High Court of Bangladesh and plan to provide legal assistance at workplace level to workers and trade unions.

Research: We conduct research to obtain a better understanding of the occupational health and safety situation in Bangladesh, including the numbers and circumstances of deaths and injuries and suggest necessary changes in workplace practices.

Working with Employers and trade unions: We work with employer’s organisations to assist them to understand their health and safety obligations and the steps they need to take to fulfill them. We are producing guidance that can be used by individual employers to improve their workplaces and are developing training programmes on health and safety management. We also provide training to trade unions and workers on their rights under health and safety law.

Legal and Policy Reform: We are active to improve the existing health and safety law offering appropriate protection to workers. We are also pressing the government to implement National Occupational Health and Safety Policy 2013, properly equipped and functioning National Industrial Health and Safety Council and the Bangladesh Labour Welfare Foundation.

Public Safety

Extending the magnitude of assistance to the people who face risks to their health and safety, Safety and Rights work to improve the law and regulation of public safety issues. We assess the adequacy of the law intended to safeguard members of the public and consider whether concerned government bodies are properly carrying out their functions. In appeared cases of negligence to take relevant action, we file public interest cases.

General Workplace Conditions

The Bangladesh Labour Act 2006 set out detailed minimum conditions of work that employers should provide in relation to hours of work, minimum wage levels, the security of their employment, and the overall environment in which they work. Through, research, litigation, training and advocacy Safety and Rights is working to ensure that employers comply with their legal obligations in this area.

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