Number of deaths snowballs as 19 shipbreaking workers killed in 11 months

Shipbreaking. File photo
Shipbreaking. File photo

As many as 19 shipbreaking workers have been killed in 11 months of 2019 and the number of deaths is snowballing every year.

According to the labour and employment ministry, the workers died by inhaling toxic gas, in fires and being crushed under the iron plates in the shipyards.

Two died in February, three in May, five in July, two in August, three in October, and one in November this year.

The number of deaths is on the rise. At least 17 workers were killed in 2018 while 16 workers in 2017. Each of the mourning families of 2018 was compensated Tk 500,000 and Tk 8.25 million to the victims of 2017.

Each of the victim family was handed Tk 600,000 as compensation.

About the death of the workers, state minister for labour and employment Begum Monnujan Sufian said shipbreaking is risky profession. Workers do the jobs risking their lives.

“The government is working to increase awareness among the owners and workers. The factory inspectors are regularly visiting the shipbreaking yards to raise the awareness,” she added.

Shib Nath Roy, inspector general of inspection for factories and establishments department, said after each of the incident a case was filed with the labour court and the compensation was fixed as per the law.

The state minister also said factories and establishments department’s deputy inspector general Md Al-Amin leads a team to inspect the shipyards.