Bangladesh Labour Inspectorate Goes Digital With LIMA
The transformation of the Bangladesh labour inspectorate has taken a major step forward with the launch of a digitalized 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. The development of LIMA has been supported by the International Labour Organization’s Improving Working Conditions in the Bangladesh Ready Made Garment Sector programme funded by Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
LIMA was officially launched by Honourable State Minister of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Md Mujibul Haque, MP in the presence of industry representatives, workers organizations and development partners at an event held at the Amari Hotel in Dhaka today (6 March). Some 250 android tablets were handed over to the Department of Inspections for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) on the same occasion, to be used during inspections.
Speaking at the launch, 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.”
LIMA is set to make DIFE’s operations more effective by combining its key data gathering and management needs in one platform. It will also enhance data accessibility and transparency by making certain information available to employers and workers while facilitating day-to-day tasks such as factory licence applications or the submission of complaints.
The Inspector General of DIFE, Mr Md. Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan highlighted the importance of the new system. He said, “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.”
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.
Also speaking at the launch, Mr 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 digitalization and transparency.”
Additionally LIMA features a ‘DIFE Complaint Box’ that allows workers or employers to make a complaint to DIFE about workplace issues. This can be done either through the LIMA website http://lima.dife.gov.bd or via a smart phone app which can be downloaded at Google Play (search keyword, DIFE Complaint Box) or at http://bit.ly/2DSTRBI.