Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Worker electrocuted at building site in Phnom Penh

Worker electrocuted at building site in Phnom Penh

Worker electrocuted at building site in Phnom Penh

A 27-year-old construction worker died on Monday morning after being electrocuted on the job, local authorities said, an incident that once again called attention to the precarious working conditions in the construction industry.

Working on a building site in Toek Thla commune in Sen Sok district, labourer Kao Vichet died after receiving an electrical shock when his foot got caught on a live wire.

“He and three other workers were moving a metal bar when his foot got caught and pulled the wire . . . Water fell and caused an electrical shock and he was struck unconscious,” said commune police chief Sok Sophal, adding that the three other men escaped uninjured.

Vichet’s colleagues brought him to the Preah Kossamak Hospital where he later died, Sophal said, adding that the subcontractor who hired Vichet had paid compensation to his family.

Moeun Tola, head of the labour advocacy group Central, said the incident demonstrates the growing need for regulations to be put in place and adhered to by construction companies and subcontractors to ensure that working conditions on construction sites are safe.

“The construction industry suffers from two problems: a lack of regulations and also that the existing regulations aren’t working properly,” Tola said. “I don’t see a real commitment from the government to enforce the existing regulations.”

Over the past five years, the government put in place rules that require subcontractors to provide injury compensation for their labourers, but few companies abide by the rules, Tola noted.

“There needs to be responsibility from the main contractor and subcontractor, so they are responsible for work accidents and worker’s health,” he said, adding that the construction industry is one of the most dangerous sectors to work in.

But Leng Bunleng, Toek Thla commune clerk, said it was Vichet’s carelessness that led to his death. “He was careless, therefore he got shocked while the others could escape,” Bunleng said.

It remained unclear yesterday whether the construction site on which Vichet was working had proper permits.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Phnom Penh condo market loses steam

    Just four new condominiums were launched for sale last year in the capital, down from 17 in 2020, according to research by CBRE Cambodia. The four developments comprised “more than 1,000” units, while the 17 in 2020 consisted of 10,866, the real estate firm reported. CBRE Cambodia categorises condos as “high-range”, “

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused