Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Labour Ministry forms new body to monitor workplace safety



Labour Ministry forms new body to monitor workplace safety

People inspect the damage to a garment  factory floor in Takeo’s Tonle Bati district in 2014 after it collapsed without warning.
People inspect the damage to a garment factory floor in Takeo’s Tonle Bati district in 2014 after it collapsed without warning. Vireak Mai

Labour Ministry forms new body to monitor workplace safety

A new National Committee on Occupational Safety and Health established under a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday will advise the government on all work-place safety issues – but excludes transportation accidents, which one observer said make up the majority of work-related injuries in the country.

The committee will have a total of 40 members, of which 20 will come from the government, 10 from unions and 10 from employers, Ministry of Labour spokesman Heng Sour said yesterday.

“The committee is an ad-hoc committee to advise and give recommendations to the Minister of Labour,” he said, adding that it will only look at work-related injuries that happen on employers’ campuses.

But despite a persistent toll of multiple-injury garment truck crashes, the committee won’t look at transportation accidents because there are other committees working on the issue, which is also covered by National Social Security Fund, Sour said. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport is developing a set of standards for worker transport, he added.

But as William Conklin, country director for labour rights group Solidarity Center, pointed out, the number of work-related injuries that happen at work pale in comparison to those that happen while en route.

“It’s not fair that transportation is left out of this equation,” he said.

However, he said he was aware of the efforts to address the recurring crashes, allowing it was a “complex” issue “that’s been 20 years in the making”.

“There will continue to be traffic accidents,” he said. “The issue of transportation will take a long time [to fix]. The standards will take a long time.”

Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said unions too are mostly worried about traffic accidents involving workers, and had hoped the new committee would reconsider taking up the issue.

“The ministry must think of a new mechanism to deal with it,” she said. Meanwhile, Moeun Tola, executive director of labour rights group Central, said the government could also improve worker safety by having regular inspections of workplaces, producing reports based on findings and making them available to the public, as well as require offending companies to complete a corrective action plan.

But, he said, he didn’t hold out much “hope” for the new committee. “There are plenty of committees that have been formed,” he said. “But . . . the work of those committees is not effective.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR