The University of Southern Denmark (SDU) is going to start a two years long action-based research on the Bangladeshi tanning industry to increase the efficiency of Bangladeshi tanneries through better occupational health and safety practices.
"Our main objective is Sustainable Tannery in Bangladesh, and we want to address the issues like occupational health and safety and the waste management in our Bangladeshi tannery industries so that Bangladeshi tannery get better access to foreign market," Dr Dewan Ali Ahsan, Associate Professor, SEBE, SDU and the coordinator of this research project said.
"Buyers from European and American market now adding new compliance conditions to Bangladeshi tanneries, so such kind of project is essential to get better understand about their demands and meet them as well, and this is why we came here to research over this sector and to generate new knowledge to theories and to develop a better approach for implementation of Lean for OHS improvement", he added.
On Tuesday (26 July) morning, the research team holds a discussion meeting with several concerned bodies and stockholders regarding the research project at the conference room in BSCIC Tannery Industrial in Savar, said a press release.
Prof. Dr Mohammad Sarwar Morshed, Head of MPE, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) and the project coordinator (Bangladesh) of this research project presided over the programme.
Soren Albertsen, Sector Counselor, Royal Danish Embassy of Dhaka, Md Mojibur Rahman, EC member of BFLLFEA, Sakhawat Hossain, General Secretary of Bangladesh Tanners Association, Abul Kalam Azad, president of Tannery Workers Union, Md Mahfuzur Rahman, Executive Engineer of BSCIC were present at the time.
During the time, the Danish research team shared their project idea and objectives to all the stockholders to better understand and urged tannery owners to cooperate with them.
Malek Maalouf, SDU Associate Professor, also a member of the research team told The Business Standard, "This project is important as it can help this industry to progress towards LWG certification, and we will build capacity for them, like healthy capability regarding improvement of processes, regarding the safety of workers and learning; and in the end, they will benefit from this because they will feel more prepared to move towards for the LWG certification".
SDU Professor Eva Roth, also one of the members of this research team, told TBS that there is a series of objectives for this project, but the first and foremost is to actually make sure that the lean process is made in the tanning industry so as to get better OHS.
According to the research team, the project will incorporate institutional logic theory for investigating the weaknesses of sustainment of initial changes in Lean and OHS, which will generate new knowledge to theories and develop a better approach for implementation of Lean for OHS management.
The researchers designed the project in 2 phases, and in the first phase, they will conduct a baseline study of tannery industries and collect data regarding occupational health safety and lean management, institutional logic.
After completing the baseline study, they will build a model and then provide it to all stockholders including the government and the concerned bodies, to implement it in the tannery sector to step ahead to achieve the LWG certification to get access to the foreign market.
In addition, during the research, the research team will choose a total of 12 larger, medium and small tannery factories, to cooperate the research team and then implements their model at those factories within the project period.
The University of Southern Denmark will lead the research project in coordination with Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST), which is organised by the Susleather project and funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Under DANIDA).