(MENAFN – Colombo Gazette) The garment industry ensured the safety and protection of workers after many concerns.
The Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) said its members understand the concerns expressed about the safety of workers in the garment industry.
JAAF said the entire garment industry is doing everything in its power to address these concerns by working in close consultation with the Department of Health (MOH) and other public authorities, in order to s ” ensure that all possible measures are in place to ensure the health and safety of employees.
“Granting clothing essential service status is of critical importance to the national economy. The government has taken into consideration the measures implemented by the industry as they have a significant impact on mitigating the risk of transmission of Covid-19 infections, including the Delta variant, ”said the JAAF.
JAAF said that with the support of Minister Namal Rajapaksa, the assistance of public health authorities and the Sri Lankan military, 90% of workers received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 50% received received their second dose.
“In the coming weeks, the entire workforce in the garment industry will be fully vaccinated. In accordance with protocols established by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labor, factories carry out checks at all facilities. Workers are screened for any symptoms before being allowed to enter factory premises. Factories ensure social distancing and have dedicated spaces for eating, toilets, etc. Several factories also offer additional measures such as steam inhalations, disinfection stations, hot herbal drinks and other healthy hot drinks, etc. “Said JAAF.
JAAF said anyone with a visible symptom is immediately transferred to a medical facility for further testing.
Temperature checks are also carried out randomly and frequently throughout the day in the workshops, and appropriate measures are taken if necessary.
The plants adhere to testing protocols issued by the Department of Health, which include random testing and daily reporting to the MOH of these results. These are also discussed and shared with local health authorities through an online mechanism that has been put in place. Additionally, local health authorities are in close contact with factories to help ensure the workplace is as safe as possible.
Additionally, a robust mechanism is in place to hold any facility that has violated health protocols accountable for any violations.
JAAF also said the industry has supported the creation of 11 intermediate care centers with nearly 4,500 beds available for employees. Two more centers are under construction, bringing the number of beds to 5,000. Individual factories are added to this infrastructure.
“The importance of the sector for its economy as a provider of jobs, a source of investment and a source of exports is well accepted. During this pandemic, the economic responsibility of the industry is gaining in importance, ”added the JAAF.
JAAF said workers reacted magnificently in response to protective measures taken by companies, and more than 80% of the workforce – the vaccinated group – have returned to work.
“We appreciate their determination and commitment to getting the economy back on its feet during these difficult times. For our part, we will do everything in our power to ensure their safety and protection, through pandemic-proof workspaces, ensuring that they are all fully vaccinated and that the measures protection and health infrastructure are available to them and their families, ”the secretary said. General of JAAF, Tuli Cooray.
The government has instituted a lockdown for the next ten days while exempting essential services, including the clothing industry. It is about keeping the economy moving and ensuring that momentum is maintained on both fronts; ensure the safety of people and keep the wheels of the economy turning without compromising safety. (Colombo Diary)
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