Safety and health and audit practices in Bangladesh
InfoStart date: 1 March, 2020 End date: 28 February, 2025 Project type: Research projects in countries with targeted development cooperation (earlier Window 2) Project code: 19-M01-SDU Countries: Bangladesh Thematic areas: Economic development and value chains, Production, industry and labour market, Lead institution: University of Southern Denmark (SDU), Denmark Partner institutions: Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS), Bangladesh Aalborg University (AAU), Denmark Team Working Life Aps (TWL), Denmark Project website: go to website (the site might be inactive) Project coordinator: Peter Hasle Total grant: 4,992,320 DKK
The fast industrial development from a low income to a middle-income country such as Bangladesh carries a risk for safety and health of the workers, which may also jeopardise the economic development. Occupational safety and health (OSH) is therefore receiving strong priority in Bangladesh. The two main measures are government regulation and international buyer CSR requirements. This project studies the audits, which are carried out to secure supplier compliance. Buyer CSR policies are criticised for window dressing with little impact on OSH realities in the workplaces. However, the actual audit practices have not been studied, and it is crucial to find ways to utilise the extensive resources used for audits in an efficient manner, securing tangible OSH improvements. The research partners University of Southern Denmark (SDU) and Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS) study the audit practices in the garment and leather sectors in Bangladesh.
The objective is to identify the audit practices and methods, which have the largest impact on the preventive OSH management in the companies. The project starts with a preliminary mapping of the audit market and its context in Bangladesh. The results are used for selection of the most important audits approaches and companies for the subsequent field studies. They include observation of 100 audits of companies, interviews with the auditors and subsequent follow up assessments and interviews in the companies of the impact of the audits. The new knowledge will be published in scientific journals and disseminated to the stakeholders, including international buyers, audits companies and the social partners as well as the public authorities. It will include advice on the most efficient use of audits, and the results will serve as a platform for systematic testing new methods for both audits and inspections.
The research partners University of Southern Denmark (SDU) and Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS) study the audit practices in the garment industry in Bangladesh. Audits are carried out to secure supplier compliance with OSH and working conditions requirements from byers. Their CSR policies are criticised for window dressing with little impact on OSH realities in the workplaces, and it is crucial to find ways to utilise the extensive resources used for audits in an efficient manner, securing tangible OSH improvements. .
The project has now completed and published a study of the audit market in Bangladesh. Furthermore data from ten in-depth case studies in garment factories has been collected with observations, interviews and documents. In addition, telephone interterviews have been carried out with 36 factories to map the frequency of applied standards and multi-stakeholder intitiatives. Worker interviews inside factories are often biassed due to worries about confidentiality, and we have therefore organised photovoice data collection where workers made photos with smart phones . The workers were afterwards interviewed about the photos. Another supplementary activitiy is a workshop for compliance managers, which showed that the often very positive approach expressed during visits at factories are much more critical outside the factories.
Data collection is almost complete, and we are now in the middle of analysing data.Go back to all projects