International experts offer safety and health training for construction site workers

International safety and health experts train people in Cambodia how to improve occupational safety and health on Cambodia’s many small construction sites.

Press release | 07 March 2005

International safety and health experts will be inCambodiathis week to train local people in how to improve occupational safety and health onCambodia’s many small construction sites.

The three-day training workshop runs from 9-11th March. It is being organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Cambodian government, and funded by the Republic ofKoreangovernment.

The workshop will be attended by around 33 representatives from the government, trade unions, employers and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s).

Construction is one of the most hazardous forms of work. InCambodiamany workers are employed on small sites where safety and health services to prevent injuries, accidents and work-related illnesses, seldom match those on large construction sites. 

The training isan essential first step in addressing the occupational safety and health (OSH) issues faced by Cambodian construction workers who have very limitedaccess to the practical support and information they need to protect themselves against hazards and ensure a safe and healthy working environment.

Common sources of injury on small sites include falling from heights, exposure to chemicals, injuries from carrying heavy loads or from sharp objects like nails, and exposure to heat and dust.  Workers often work long, irregular hours and live on-site in the most basic conditions. 

Women and migrants account for many of the workers on these small sites. Whole families, including children, are sometimes involved.

The training will be based on the ILO’s tried and tested “Work Improvement in Small Construction Sites” (WISCON) programme.This focuses on practical, low-cost, quick solutions to safety and health problems, using local materials. As part of the course the trainees will visit a construction site to test out their newly-learned methods of evaluating risks and draw up concrete OSH action plans.   After the workshop the participants will become trainers themselves, and will start passing on their new skills directly to construction workers.

The training will be led by Dr. Tsuyoshi Kawakami, ILO Occupational Safety and Health Specialist, who is based at the ILO Subregional Office for East Asia inBangkok. He will be joined by Mr. Naoki Toyoma from the Tokyo Occupational Safety and Health Centre,Japan.

“There are small construction sites starting up all overCambodiaand these workers face specific safety and health threats that are not so common on large construction projects.” Dr Kawakami said.  “WISCON is extremely practical. It shows that safety and health doesn’t have to cost a lot or disrupt work; low-cost, quick and easy measures can make a real difference to the smooth and efficient running of a site. Our message is that good safety and health practices are good for workers and good for business,” he said.

The three-day training workshop will be held at the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training.

For more information please contact:

Dr Tsuyoshi Kawakami,
Occupational Safety and HealthSpecialist
Mobile: +66 (0)9 939 6891

Mr. Tun Sophorn
National Project Coordinator
ILO Informal Economy Project
Tel:  (855-23) 994 574 ext 113