Bangladesh labour inspectorate goes digital

The transformation of the Bangladesh labour inspectorate has taken a major step forward with the launch of a digitalised Labour Inspection Management Application (LIMA) system. LIMA will improve the collection, storage and analysis of labour inspection data, benefiting workers and employers in all industrial sectors, particularly the garment industry.

International Labour Organisation

Speaking at the launch of LIMA, Bangladesh minister of labour and employment Md Mujibul Haque said, “LIMA is a milestone in the march towards digital Bangladesh and testament to the commitment of the Government to ensure that every workplace is a safe workplace and that the rights of workers are respected.”

At the launch event in Dhaka, around 250 android tablets were handed over to the Department of Inspections for Factories and Establishments (DIFE), to be used during inspections.

“The launch of LIMA marks the beginning of a new chapter for the labour inspectorate. It will make our operations more effective and thereby help to enhance the welfare and safety of working people and also improve productivity of industries. It will also help DIFE to generate a variety of reports,” said DIFE inspector general Md Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan.

Also speaking at the launch, Snehal Soneji, officer in charge of the ILO said, “The LIMA system is much more than inspectors simply using a tablet computer instead of a pen and paper. It represents the progress made in the reform of the labour inspectorate and the commitment of DIFE’s leadership to digitalisation and transparency.”

The development of LIMA has been supported by the International Labour Organisation’s Improving Working Conditions in the Bangladesh Ready Made Garment Sector programme funded by Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

LIMA comprises four different modules. A Factory/Establishments Database module allows for the online application of factory layout plans and licences. A Labour Inspection module is used for inspection planning, data collection and reporting.

Information gathered during inspections is fed directly into the LIMA database where it can be used to inform management decisions. An Occupational Safety and Health module is used for notifications relating to workplace accidents. Other LIMA modules are used for the tracking of remediation work of garment factories under the National Initiative as well as for following up on DIFE’s internal operational activities.

Additionally, LIMA features a ‘DIFE Complaint Box’ that allows workers or employers to make a complaint to DIFE about workplace issues.

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