The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training strongly urges all owners and directors of manufacturing enterprises and other business establishments to actively participate in enhancing fire prevention measures, as well as safety and occupational health protocols for workers. 

The initiative aims to ensure a safe workplace environment, prevent fires and avoid instances of heat stroke.

The ministry issued the instructions on January 19 following a series of fires in various enterprises, resulting in fatalities and impacting the health and safety of workers, business operations, security and public order.

The guidelines coincide with the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology’s notification regarding temperatures rising up to 41 degrees Celsius in April and early May. 

The labour ministry advised all enterprises to pay closer attention and strictly implement the following necessary measures.

The prescribed actions are comprehensive, including: increasing regular inspections of the power supply network to ensure that the temperature of the equipment meets safety standards, and maintaining the equipment to prevent workplace fires; supervising and promoting the roles and responsibilities of the Committee of Occupational Safety and Health Working Group, especially in regularly monitoring and updating occupational risk assessments; educating and training workers on safety signs, evacuation methods and conducting regular exercises; inspecting first aid and hospital operations within the enterprise; and regularly testing fire protection systems and equipment, such as extinguishers, automatic sprinklers, hoses, alarms, smoke detectors and automatic lighting for power outages.

Businesses are also advised to conduct regular inspections of emergency exits to ensure they are safe, unobstructed, unlocked and have backup lighting; prepare an emergency response plan, particularly for workplaces using chemicals and flammable substances, and ensuring the materials are stored separately from work or production areas; and implement measures such as opening all windows and doors or adding exhaust or vacuum fans in production buildings during hot weather, while arranging materials and raw materials in an orderly and safe manner, ensuring they do not block air sources.

The ministry sternly warned that owners or directors of businesses who neglect the instructions and cause harm to life, property, security or public order will face penalties under the Labour Law and other criminal penalties as per Article 30 of the Law on Prevention and Extinguishing of Fire, along with other relevant laws.

The warning follows a recent incident at the warehouse and distribution centre of Yi Da Manufacturer Co Ltd, located in Russey Srok village in Kandal province’s Kien Svay district on January 18. 

The tragedy resulted in the death of one worker and injuries to approximately 20 others.