ILO offers first safety and health training for North West Cambodian workers

Experts from the ILO visit north-western Cambodia to assist at the ILO’s first occupational safety and health training session in that region.

Press release | BANGKOK | 19 March 2008

ILO NEWS ( Bangkok ): Experts from the International Labour Organization (ILO) will be visiting north-western Cambodia next week to assist at the ILO’s first occupational safety and health ( OSH ) training session in that region. The instruction will be carried out by Cambodian government OSH trainers who have already completed the ILO course and are now extending their work to a new region of the country.

Approximately 40 participants from seven provinces (Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Chhnang, Pailin, Pursat, Oddor Meanchey, and Siem Reap) will attend the five-day course in Battambang town, from March 24th to 28th. , They include provincial officials involved with labour, agricultural and women’s affairs as well as workers and employers.

The Cambodian government OSH trainers will be assisted by Dr. Tsuyoshi Kawakami, ILO Senior Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Specialist, who is based at the ILO Subregional Office for East Asia in Bangkok , He will provide technical assistance and supervision.

The workshop is supported by the Japanese Government through the ILO/Japan Mulitibilateral Programme.

The course will cover safety and health techniques that have been specially developed for use by small farmers, workers on small construction sites, and home workers. The methods focus on practical, low-cost, quick, solutions to safety and health problems that use local materials. The techniques are based on three tried-and-tested ILO programmes; WIND, which focuses on smallholder farmers, WISCON, which is designed for small construction sites, and WISH, which targets home workers and small businesses.

By attending the workshop the participants will qualify as safety and health trainers themselves. They will have their first opportunity to pass on their new skills on the last day of the course, when, under ILO expert guidance, they will give their first tutorials.

“The north western region of Cambodia is now facing rapid development and is becoming a tourist and economic hub while also serving as a huge trading exchange point between Cambodia and Thailand ,” said Mr. Tun Sophorn, Focal Point for the ILO training, who will assist with the workshop. “Cross-border trading and tourism are increasing every year, while new construction and agricultural projects  are starting every day. Now is the right time to extend OSH training to this part of Cambodia ”.

“These techniques are already helping Cambodian workers in other parts of the country stay safe, healthy and productive. I am confident that they can be just as valuable here, ” Dr. Kawakami said. “Our message is that sound safety and health practices are not just good for workers, but good for business too. Safety and health improvements are a vital part of what we call decent work, and they clearly show how, with decent work, everybody wins. Creating better working conditions doesn’t only improve workers’ security and worker-management communications, it also plays a vital longer-term role in reducing poverty and supporting prosperity and competitiveness”.

For more information please contact:

Dr. Tsuyoshi Kawakami
Occupational Safety and Health Specialist
ILO Subregional Office for East Asia
Tel. (66-2) 288 1743 or (66-89) 939 6891

Mr. Tun Sophorn
Focal Point for the Training
ILO Better Factories Cambodia
Tel:  (855-23) 212 847 ext 129