Stories about workers

Factory fire: The inspectors said that the building was safe

Eight hours after flames from the Baldia Town garment factory fire had been doused, the top floor of the building was still simmering. It is here that the highest number of deaths had taken place. Around 200 people had screamed for help and had tried to look for a way to escape, but to no avail. The only door was on fire, while the windows were too small to let the air in, resulting in people dying of suffocation. Only three people on the floor managed to come out alive after rescue workers tore through one of the small grilled ...

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A reminder: Sanitation workers are human beings

It is World Coconut Day on September 2, a day to, “Propagate the importance of this tree and to make people aware about the benefits of the fruit”. While the day is also meant to remind people about people whose livelihoods depend on the fruit, rising salary demands from fruit pickers have left much of the global industry looking at alternative farming methods. In India and Thailand, monkeys are a popular alternative. They work cheap (mostly for bananas), don’t need uniforms (or any clothes for that matter), and according to studies, are five times as effective as human pickers. The monkeys ...

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Is a safe work-environment a privilege only the rich deserve?

Recently, I attended an International Conference on Occupational Safety and Health Training  in Islamabad. During this two-day workshop, I was baffled by the advancements made in terms of protecting the valuable lives of skilled labour.  I heard talk about the use of Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) for workers’ identification and safety; the use of iPads for addressing construction workers during their toolbox meetings (a worker meeting held at start of a day); Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology for worker safety and, in short, a stream of new, innovative ideas. I must say, I was very impressed by how big companies valued ...

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