Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Construction safety protocol defined

Construction safety protocol defined

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Construction workers pour cement on a high-rise building site in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district in late January. Hong Menea

Construction safety protocol defined

The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction has issued a prakas setting danger levels, procedures to avoid risk, and processes to control dangerous construction to ensure health and safety in the sector.

The parkas, issued on February 1, has all construction in the Kingdom under its jurisdiction, bar some particular constructions that have their own separate legal standards. Signed by minister Chea Sophara, it consists of six chapters and 23 articles.

The prakas defined construction practices that could endanger the physical health of workers and the public. It also set the responsibilities of construction owners, construction managers and tenants for dangers that may be caused by the construction.

It divided potential hazards into immediate and long-term risks. Authorities are also required to ensure risk prevention.

“If authorities receive complaints or information about dangerous practices, they must inspect the quality and safety of the project. The authorities will assign officials to evaluate the site and reach a conclusion on its risk level.

“If the inspectors draw the conclusion that the project may be hazardous, the safety officials will report the construction to the relevant authorities,” said the prakas.

It instructed that the safety and quality assessments must be submitted between three and 10 days following the inspection.

“In an emergency case, authorities may order a report prepared by a private company; the expense of such a report shall be borne by the construction owners,” it said.

Sophara said in the prakas that if an inspection determined that an accident was likely to take place, the governors of the capital, provinces, and district must inform the construction owners, managers and tenants and those living on that site to leave immediately.

“Such immediate measures include evacuation of the site, identifying neighbouring structures that may be at risk and the evacuation of people from those buildings. Authorities may lock the site down and ban any and all access.

“Parts of the construction that may be dangerous can be dismantled, and access to those locations can be blocked to avoid hazards,” Sophara said.

According to the prakas, authorities are given the right to dismantle dangerous construction in case of non-compliance, with the owners liable for any expense or losses.

Sok Kin, president of the Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia, welcomed the prakas and other recently promulgated laws, though he said actual practices were still loose, a sign that the laws required more effective implementation.

“Most of these laws and legal standards do not mandate particular authorities to enforce them. I don’t say there is corruption in enforcing these laws, but there are irregularities because some companies belong to influential or powerful people or are backed up by them.

“This problem enables some local or foreign companies to construct buildings without permission,” he said.

According to Kin, more than 3,000 construction companies registered in Cambodia from 2020 to 2021, but only slightly over 1,000 of them had valid licences and respected the laws. The rest of them have expired licences but are continuing to work illegally.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Angkor photo rules clarified

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) denied that it had banned the use of camera tripods in the Angkor Archaeological Park, explaining that the confusion stemmed from a long-standing rule which required commercial photographers and videographers to apply for permission to film. The explanation followed a

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At