A fundamental step towards improving the safety and health of construction workers in Mongolia will be taken later this week when the International Labour Organisation (ILO) holds the first training programme specifically designed to help those employed on small construction sites.
The three day workshop, from August 26-28, is part of the ILO’s WISCON scheme – short for Work Improvement in Small Construction Sites. WISCON was set up in 2003 and has already proved successful in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos . This will be the first WISCON initiative in Mongolia.
About 30 delegates from across Mongolia have been selected for this first training session. They were selected through the Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions, and the CMTU will also host the training workshop.
The workshop will be led by two international experts in safety and health on small construction sites who are travelling to Ulaanbaatar for the event. Tsuyoshi Kawakami is the ILO’s specialist on Occupational Safety and Health for East Asia , based in Bangkok . He will be assisted by a colleague from the Tokyo Occupational Safety and Health Centre, Mr Naoki Toyama.
Mr Kawakami said; “Most of the building projects in Mongolia are small construction sites, like one or two-story buildings and small apartment blocks, and these kinds of projects have very specific health and safety issues. Managers and employees rarely have the appropriate training or knowledge. Workers and their families often live on site, and are often unskilled and poorly educated. Many are migrants”.
“This workshop will show that small, inexpensive changes in working practices can make a big difference when it comes to preventing accidents, injuries and deaths. It’s an important first step”.