Officials are pushing for all factories and workplaces to have on-site infirmaries by next year, in line with a long-standing Labour Law requirement, Minister of Labour Ith Samheng announced in a speech yesterday.
Having nurses on hand was already required by Cambodia’s Labour Law, but only about 72 percent of factories are compliant at the moment, said Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour yesterday.
Enterprises of 50 or more staff must have at least one licensed nurse available to respond to emergency situations, and larger workplaces require more medical staff, he said.
Sour said the ministry is also requiring more air inspections from factories to combat the number of faintings and other occupational health hazards from chemicals in the workplace.
“We are not only requiring enterprises to have the infirmaries, but we also want to test the smell and the quality of air in the factories,” he said.
Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), claimed all the factories under his organisation are compliant with the infirmary requirement.
But even if factories meet the ministry’s basic health requirements, many need to improve the staff, capacity and equipment of their infirmaries, said Han Sunrith, a lawyer for rights group Central.
“From our observations of the situation in factories, we have learned that most of the infirmaries lack the capacity to respond to emergency problems.”