Bangladesh’s Kabir Group has rejected claims made by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform over a surge of accidents at its breaking yards.
Splash reported last week on NGO Shipbreaking Platform’s findings that six out of eighteen accidents registered in the Bangladeshi shipbreaking industry this year had taken place at yards owned by Kabir Steel Re-Rolling Mills (KSRM).
In response, the Kabir Group said that its Kabir Steel yard, located at Sitalpur, had worked a total of 374,400-man-days in the period from 2020 to May 2022 with two accidents. One fatality was recorded in February this year, but it was “due to sickness and not due to any injury,” the company said. Another death reported by the NGO was an injury, and the worker has already resumed work in the facility in the same capacity, Kabir added.
Meanwhile, at its Khawja shipbreaking yard in Chattogram, Kabir recorded six accidents for a period of 417,600-man-days, including one fatal incident in December 2020, which is also said to be not work-related.
Kabir also pointed out that in the context of Bangladesh’s workplace death statistics in 2021, the total number of fatalities was 1,053, out of which ship recycling fatalities were 12.
“We fully agree on the fact that the ship breaking job involves a higher degree of risk since the breaking job is top down where the possibility of losing safe standing floor remains, while in shipbuilding it is bottom up,” said Mehrul Karim, CEO, Kabir Group ship recycling facility.
“We are cordially requesting NGO Platform to spare some time and to have an online meeting or discussion session with us on the issues they may have at any time so that we can discuss the issues openly and share our views to improve the safety of the workers in ship recycling yards, which will definitely benefit the entire ship breaking industry in Bangladesh as a whole,” Karim added.