Although the garment industry may seem glamorous and involves the latest in designer clothes, shoes, and accessories, it can also pose a number of dangers for garment workers. With tons of heavy machinery, long hours, and harsh deadlines, it can spell disaster for garment workers who operate in a factory that does not meet the industry's safety standards.
Injuries for Garment Workers
The main reason garment industry injuries happen is not because standards were not written properly or missed a certain aspect of safety. Garment workers are often injured because these standards were not met by competent safety engineers who constructed the workplace, owners of the workplace were not transparent or accessible to inspectors, or the brands and retailers of the garments refused to fund necessary workplace repairs and renovations. The result is increased danger for garment workers with possible injuries including:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Slip and falls
- Back injuries
- Collapse of equipment or scaffolding
- Getting a limb or extremity caught in a machine
- Amputation of limb or extremity
Garment Worker Death
In extreme cases, unsafe working conditions can even lead to garment worker death. Although safety standards and implementation have improved over the years, there have been many horrific incidences of garment worker death in recent times that include:
- April 2012 – Fourteen garment workers are killed when a fire breaks out in a factory in Shantou, China. The fire was suspected to be caused by arson, and the victims were all women aged 18 to 20.
- November 2012 – Over 120 workers are killed in Dhaka, Bangladesh when a fire broke out on the ground floor of the nine-story factory and spread, trapping hundreds of workers. Most of the workers killed were women, including those who jumped to their death from windows. Some workers died of smoke inhalation and many were burned beyond recognition, while many more were taken to the hospital for severe burns and toxic exposure.
- April 2013 – Over 1,000 garment workers are killed and injured in Dhaka, Bangladesh when the eight-story factory collapsed. Inspectors found cracks in the building's structure the day before, and the building was found to have many safety code violations, not the least of which was the four upper floors being added without a permit.
- December 2013 – Seven people are killed in a Chinese-run garment factory in Italy when a fire started and caused the collapse of a roof. The factory was being illegally run with no intention of meeting safety standards.
Attorney for Garment Workers
For a workplace injury lawsuit to be successful, personal injury lawyers have to prove that the injury or death resulted from the negligence of another party, such as the factory owners or safety inspectors. In these cases, victims and immediate family members have the right to file a personal injury claim. At Arnold & Itkin, we will listen to your case free of cost and charge no fees unless we win your case.