Introduction: In 24 April 2013, Rana Plaza - a high-rise building in Bangladesh where garments were being made for the Western markets collapsed. In this study, we report on the surviving workers' physical strength, self-efficacy, and disability level one year after the disaster.
Methods: This cross-sectional study took place at the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) which provided care for more than 600 victims. For this study, upper extremity strength among the survivors was assessed by dynamometer hand grip (HG) and lower extremity strength by five time sit to stand test (FTSST). The WHODAS tool measured level of disability and General Self-Efficacy questionnaire measured self-efficacy. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) prevalence was determined by the PCL-scale.
Results: The study recruited 181 injured workers. The mean disability score among them was 49.8 (SD 17.5) and mean self-efficacy score was 24.9 (SD 6.9). In multivariate models, after adjusting for age, gender, education, injury profile, employment, marital status and job category, self-efficacy was found to be higher among those who scored above median HG test score [β= -2.32 (95% CI: -4.63, -0.01)] and FTSST performance score [β= -2.69 (95% CI: -4.93, -0.46)]. The disability level was found to be significantly associated with PTSD score [β = 0.84 (95% CI: 0.62, 1.06)] and self-efficacy score [β= -0.45 (95% CI: -0.78, -0.13)].
Conclusions: There is an immense need to develop and deliver effective post-injury recovery, rehabilitation and return-to-work programs for injured workers in resource poor countries. Implications for Rehabilitation The study findings suggest that one year after the factory disaster in Bangladesh, the injured workers are suffering from a high degree of disability, low physical performance and reporting low self-efficacy. The national and international stakeholders including Western buyers, aid agencies, NGOs, worker advocacy groups, consumer associations and the government of Bangladesh can be updated on the progress made so far. There is an immense need to develop and deliver effective post-injury recovery, rehabilitation and return-to-work programs for injured workers in resource poor countries. International organizations like ILO, WHO, World Bank can help developing countries in building these capacities.
Keywords: Bangladesh; Rana Plaza; factory collapse; garment workers; injury; rehabilitation; survivors.