Ensuring the health and well-being of the workers must be a key priority for building a better and more sustainable readymade garments (RMG) industry, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has said.
"If the workers are healthy, the industry will run well. As we are increasingly focusing on enhancing the industry's capacity and productivity, it's imperative to ensure workers' health because healthy workers are more productive," BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said Tuesday at the global women leaders' organisation G100's first summit in Bangladesh.
Planning Minister MA Mannan attended the event as chief guest. Dutch Ambassador to Bangladesh Anne Gerard van Leeuwen, founder and President of G100 Harbin Arora Rai, and Farzanah Chowdhury, G100 global chair of healthcare and wellness, also spoke at the programme.
Faruque said: "We often talk about socio-economic issues like employment, empowerment, environmental sustainability, and workplace safety. But we also have to remember that health is a very important part to keep our workers well, happy and productive."
"Most of our factories maintain health care centres, eye care facilities, daycare centres, fair price shops, and so on within the premises. Factories also run schools, hospitals, and other charitable initiatives for the community, and employ physically challenged people," he added.
Industry stakeholders need to take a more holistic approach to ensure workers' health which would contribute to making the workforce more productive and the industry more competitive, the BGMEA president said.