This year, seven more workers lost their lives while working at the ship breaking yard in Chattogram.
A total of 217 workers have died in the last 15 years, while 65 workers have lost their lives while working in the industry in the last five years alone.
Youth Power in Social Action (YPSA), a non-governmental development organization working on ship breaking, presented the findings on the occasion of World Human Rights Day at the Chattogram Press Club auditorium on Thursday.
In the press conference titled "Safety Rights in ship breaking yards and YPSA recommendation", YPSA highlighted an 11-point recommendation regarding workers safety in the field to miniimize this death spree.
At the press conference, YPSA coordinator Mohammad Ali Shahin said, "The death rate in the ship breaking industry should be brought down to zero. Although Bangladesh is one of the top ship breaking industries in the world, it has only one green ship dismantling yard."
He demanded that all ship breaking yards be gradually converted into green ship yards.
Speakers at the conference opined that the lack of adequate safety equipment and insufficient training in the field of work are believed to be the cause of such deaths.
The speakers demanded that an appropriate list of hazardous waste should be prepared for each ship in accordance with the Basel and Hong Kong Conventions.
Adherence to this will make it easier to dispose of waste on ships and greatly reduce the risk.
In addition, the speakers suggested that in the interest of strengthening environmental protection and safety, the shipping ministry should ensure that all information on the ship (explosives certificate, environmental safety clearance and list of hazardous wastes) is pre-approved by the Standard Clarification Agency before the ships are dismantled.
At the same time, in order to prevent intentional fires, occupational health and safety checks, gas meters and regular inspections should be conducted before dismantling the ships to prevent. Compensation to injured and deceased workers must be provided in accordance with the current rules and regulations.
The speakers also suggested that safe disposal of waste and appointment of qualified safety officers must be done before dismantling the ships.
They also urged the relevant authorities to introduce a one-stop service to facilitate the development of the industry; encourage authorities to bring other ship dismantling yards under the green benefit initiative and set up treatment storage disposal facilities and include these in the formulation and implementation of the shipyard development plans.
Chief Executive Officer of Bright Bangladesh Forum Utpal Barua, Chief Executive Officer of the Shangshaptak Milton Chowdhury; human rights activist Jasmine Sultana Paru; and representatives of various social development organizations were also present during the conference.