Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Condolences to victims of Kep collapse

Condolences to victims of Kep collapse

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The ILO on Tuesday called on the government to take immediate steps to improve occupational health and safety standards. Heng Chivoan

Condolences to victims of Kep collapse

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) on Tuesday extended its deepest sympathies to the families of those killed in the recent building collapse in Kep province.

“The ILO is very saddened and concerned to hear the tragic collapse of a building in Cambodia’s coastal province of Kep on January 3 that resulted in the unfortunate deaths of 36 and injuries to another 23, who were all working when the accident happened,” the ILO statement said.

It also called on the government to pay greater attention to the risks that thousands of workers face every day and demanded immediate action to improve occupational health and safety.

The ILO noted that this was the second major collapse to occur in the Kingdom in less than seven months, following the one in Sihanoukville last June. It also noted that the latest incident is “the most fatal workplace accident in Cambodia in recent years”.

“Tackling this problem calls for action with respect to comprehensive measures that include a review of regulations and their enforcement in the construction sector, the introduction of occupational safety and health standards and building safety standards at all workplaces, intensified labour inspection and zero accident campaigns, as well as promoting a preventive safety culture in all workplaces,” it said.

The ILO’s statement follows Prime Minister Hun Sen’s announcement on Sunday at the close of the search and rescue operation that he held the construction foreman accountable for the incident after he used smaller metal bars than those recommended in the building plan.

In addition, the materials used to support each concrete floor were removed within 10 days of being filled with concrete, rather than in 20 days as per standard practice.

The foreman and his children also died in the incident.

Under the law, the victims could file a civil complaint to the court and demand compensation from the building’s owners.

Kampot provincial court spokesman Man Boreth could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

But some local media outlets reported that the court had decided to allow the owners, Euk Saron and his wife Chhiv Sothy, to post bail.

The couple was placed under court supervision on charges of involuntary manslaughter and causing bodily harm.

Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction spokesman Seng Lot on Tuesday declined to comment as he was preoccupied at Victory Day celebrations.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training spokesman Heng Sour told The Post that the ministry is still working on the case.

“The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training will cooperate with the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction to inspect buildings and take action against owners of construction sites, enterprises and foremen who violate the Law on Construction,” he said.

The ILO said it would “continue to engage with its tripartite constituents – the government, employers’ and workers’ organisations” – to improve occupational safety and health standards for workers.

Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia (BWTUC) president Sok Sin said that, following ILO’s appeal, the government must implement its labour law and obligations more effectively.

“I urge the government to further implement existing labour laws. Whereas the government used to conduct a few site inspections here and there, it now has to conduct at least 10 to 20 inspections,” said Sin.


  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration

  • Howard Johnson opens in Sihanoukville

    New York Stock Exchange- (NYSE) listed hotel franchiser Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Inc (WH) has opened its first hotel in the Kingdom – the Howard Johnson Plaza by Wyndham Blue Bay Sihanoukville, WH said in a February 18 press release. WH said the new 36-storey property in Sihanoukville’

  • Cambodia’s new draft law on investment and its effects

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) has completed the drafting of the long-awaited new Law on Investment. The draft will be later tabled at the Economic and Financial Policy Committee before being submitted to the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly for