240 Workers Killed in Garment Factory
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is calling for national action to protect workers’ health and safety, following the deaths of some 240 workers in a garment factory in Karachi, Pakistan.
Seiji Machida, Head of ILO’s SafeWork Program, underlined the need for concrete action to prevent such tragedies.
Shocking Tragedy Calls for National Action
“We were shocked by the news we heard that well over 200 workers were killed in a factory fire today,” Machida commented. “Protection of workers’ safety and health is a fundamental human right. We need to reinforce measures to protect workers’ lives from hazards in the workplace. We would like to call for national action to improve the protection of all workers,” he added.
Victims Trapped in Basement, Behind Metal Bars
According to media reports, many victims were trapped in a basement with no fire exits and locked doors. The majority of workers died from suffocation when the basement filled with smoke. Other workers on higher floors rushed to windows to escape but struggled to get out because metal bars blocked their way. Hours earlier, at least 25 people died in a shoe factory fire in the Pakistani city of Lahore.
The ILO office in Pakistan added, “We have been highlighting the importance of Safe Work in Pakistan at forums organized with government, employers and workers and encouraging a Labour Inspection regime that protects the workers.”
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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