Workers hanging leather up to dry on washing lines. © GIZ/Vicotria Hohenhausen

Improving working conditions in tanneries

Good working conditions in tanneries

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Country
  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2022 to 2025

  • Products and expertise

    Economic development and employment


The leather industry is a vital branch of the economy in Bangladesh, and is the country’s third-largest export segment. In 2019 it employed around 850,000 people, either directly or indirectly.

However, in many cases tanneries have not yet made occupational health and safety an integral part of their operations. The national labour inspection authorities lack the financial and human resources to fulfil their supervisory duties. Few factories and training organisations acknowledge the need for a safe working environment.

The global economic downturn stemming from the pandemic threatened the very existence of the leather sector. Furthermore, the industry does not meet the labour or environmental standards of major markets such as the EU or the USA. These standards, however, are essential if the leather industry is to be competitive.

Three men working on animal hides in a tannery. © GIZ/Victoria Hohenhausen


Workplace safety at tanneries is improved in selected areas of Bangladesh.


The project is involved in creating an effective labour inspections system in tanneries. By enhancing expertise and improving organisation, it is helping the labour inspection authorities to fulfil their duties better.

In addition, the project is supporting the development of materials for occupational health and safety training courses. The aim is to create a needs-based set of advisory and training services that the tanneries will want and will indeed use. The project also promotes structures at universities and training institutions by adapting curricula to national and international occupational health and safety requirements.

Last update: July 2023

Additional information