Five workers riding a lift meant to carry animal carcasses up to the fifth floor of a meat roasting facility were left with serious injuries when their metal cage plummeted from the third floor.
Chok Dary, 46, the owner of the roasting business in Toek La-ak I commune, blamed the incident on a child, who she said pressed the lift switch erratically, causing the machine’s cable to snap.
But Bun Soksaravun, police chief of Toek La-ak I commune, said the accident at the five-storey factory, which roasts whole pigs, chickens and ducks, occurred because the cargo lift was over capacity.
The five victims, aged from 25 to 38, suffered broken legs and back injuries as well as facial wounds.
“I have sent them for treatment at a private clinic in Psar Depo II commune and Calmette hospital,” Dary said.
Cambodian Food and Service Workers’ Federation president Sar Mora said that, by law, it was the companies’ responsibility to take care of workers after accidents, but that some industries were not registered with the Labour Ministry’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
The incident highlights the precarious position of workers in informal sectors, despite the NSSF, according to Dave Welsh, country director for the American Center for International Labor Solidarity.
“The reality is there is no social security in Cambodia,” he said. “The construction area is booming. [Workplace accidents are] are something the government will find more and more.
“The OH and S of labour laws really need to be fleshed out.”