Rana Plaza tragedy: 57pc of injured workers’ health deteriorates

The health condition of 56.5 per cent of workers sustained injuries in the Rana Plaza building collapse has deteriorated and that was 14 per cent last year, says a study.

These injured workers suffer from various physical complications including pain in waist, headache, hands, legs and back.

ActionAid Bangladesh conducted the study on 200 workers who survive the Rana Plaza tragedy through interview and questionnaire method on the occasion of the ninth year of the tragedy.

According to the study, previous years saw a gradual improvement in the injured workers’ health but this year it deteriorates. Thirty three per cent of the injured workers’ health is nearly stable and 10.5 per cent of the injured workers’ health is completely stable.

The number of workers suffering from mental trauma increased to 48.5 per cent this year from last year’s 12.5 per cent. On the other hand, 31 per cent of workers said their mental condition is nearly stable and 20.5 per cent of workers said their mental state is completely stable.

The study said 53 per cent of the injured workers are still unemployed and the remaining 47 per cent are involved in various jobs. Some 67 per cent of the unemployed workers said they cannot work due to physical incapability and 10 per cent of them are still carry mental shock.

There is tendency to change job frequently among the injured workers because they become incapable because they cannot perform same work for long due to physical inability.

Many of these injured workers returned to their old work like household activities, agriculture, daily labour, sales, and driving with only 15 per cent of the workers joining their previous profession at apparel industry and 8 per cent of them being in swing or tailoring.

Income of most of the workers has dropped drastically in the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

According the study, 63.5 per cent of the workers said they did not have sufficient money to purchase essentials amidst coronavirus and 51.5 per cent of workers could not pay their house rent regularly and 22.5 per cent of the workers could not take care of their children properly. Some 46.5 per cent of workers borrowed money to purchase foods and essentials for their family during Covid-19.

The study said family income of 36 per cent of the workers who survive the Rana Plaza tragedy is below Tk 5,000 while family income of 35 per cent is Tk 10,000-15,000. Thirty five per cent of the workers said their monthly expense is over Tk 10,000 and 30 per cent said it was over Tk 15,000 and most of their money is spent for purchasing daily essentials, house rent, children's study and treatment.