ILO fire safety campaign reaches out to half a million Bangladeshis

Successful Facebook campaign helps spread the word on prevention and protection against fire in the workplace

News | 12 January 2022
DHAKA (ILO News) - Around half a million Bangladeshis received messages on ‘fire safety in the workplace’ through a social media campaign conducted by the ILO recently. The month-long campaign was launched around National Fire Service and Civil Defense Week in November 2021.

The fire safety awareness campaign highlighted various life-saving messages on prevention and protection against fire in the workplace. Visual messages on do’s and don’ts during a fire, fire prevention measures, good electrical practices, safe chemical management and emergency preparedness were developed and published on ILO Bangladesh Facebook page every week between 4 November and 2 December 2021.

The campaign messages were disseminated further among employers’ and workers’ organizations, labour inspectorate, factories, brands and development partners.

ILO RMG programme designed and implemented the fire safety awareness campaign following a tragic fire incident at a food processing factory in Rupganj, Bangladesh which claimed at least 52 lives earlier in the year.

This is an ongoing hazard that is costing precious lives and damage to enterprises. To inform and educate employers and workers on fire safety and prevention, we developed and conducted the social media campaign."

George Faller, ILO RMG Programme
Chief Technical Advisor of ILO RMG Programme, George Faller said, “According to Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence (BFSCD), there have been more than 21,000 incidents of fire in Bangladesh only in 2020. This is an ongoing hazard that is costing precious lives and damage to enterprises. To inform and educate employers and workers on fire safety and prevention, we developed and conducted the social media campaign. At the same time, we have also been working with national regulatory bodies such as the DIFE (labour inspectorate) and BFSCD to improve their capacities on monitoring workplace safety across the country.”


We found the campaign messages timely and useful, and shared these with our trade union members via Facebook Messenger and email."

Khandker Abdus Salam, Workers Resource Centre (WRC)
Khandker Abdus Salam, Manager of the Workers Resource Centre (WRC) said, “Fire incidents at workplaces not only cause casualties, but also lead to unemployment for many workers who are then forced to take up precarious jobs for survival. We found the campaign messages timely and useful, and shared these with our trade union members via Facebook Messenger and email. We would like to see the campaign continue on a bigger scale so that these messages are amplified and reach a wider audience.”

Campaigns like these are crucial as they create awareness which leads to desired change in behaviour."

Farzana Sharmin, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA)
Farzana Sharmin, Joint Secretary of Compliance Cell at Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) said, “Campaigns like these are crucial as they create awareness which leads to desired change in behaviour. The messages disseminated through the ILO campaign need to be repeated on various platforms to sensitize people on fire safety so that they put these knowledge into practice.”