Textile sector

While recent tragic events in Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries brought the spotlight on the ready-made garment (RMG) industry and triggered G7 and G20 support for better safety and working conditions in the sector, health issues are in danger of being overlooked. It is true that efforts at improving structural and fire safety are absolutely necessary. They require relentless and coordinated action between governments, employers, workers, and buyers as key stakeholders.
However, safety cannot be the exclusive focus. Attention must also be paid to the prevention of risks to worker's health, such as musculoskeletal disorders, exposure to chemicals as well as dusts and fibres, and psychosocial issues to mention just a few. There are marked differences in the exposure of women to risk compared to men, not least concerning reproductive health and health and safety policies have to be considered with gender in mind.

Source: Asian-Pacific Newsletter, vol. 22, no 3, December 2015.

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