Cambodia and Viet Nam

Occupational Safety and Health in Hazardous Work in Southeast Asia

The project aims to address occupational safety and health (OSH) in hazardous industries in Viet Nam and Cambodia, strengthen national OSH systems in line with the on-going national OSH programmes, and improve OSH standards at workplace level.

Project outcomes:

  • OSH standards in hazardous industries in Viet Nam are implemented and improved, within the framework of the 2nd National OSH Programme.
  • Preventive measures for occupational health hazards and risks in Viet Nam, including asbestos and chemicals in hazardous industries, are strengthened, in cooperation with the World Health Organization.
  • OSH standards in hazardous industries in Cambodia are established, in line with the 1st National OSH Master Plan.
  • OSH good practices in hazardous industries in Cambodia, Viet Nam and other ASEAN countries are shared, and there is progress towards the ratification and implementation of ILO Convention C187 (Promotional Framework for OSH Convention 2006).


OSH officials, inspectors and practitioners from the Governments of Cambodia and Viet Nam, and workers and employers in small and medium-sized enterprises, and informal and rural workplaces.


Viet Nam
  • Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA)
  • Ministry of Health (MoH)
  • Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC)
  • Ministry of Construction (MOC)
  • Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL)
  • Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)
  • Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MoLVT)


Protecting workers from occupational accidents and diseases and promoting safe and healthy working environments are becoming increasingly important in ASEAN member States, particularly in Viet Nam and Cambodia.

In Viet Nam, the number of reported occupational accidents rose more than eight-fold between 1995 and 2012, from 840 to 6,777 cases. In the same period the number of fatalities also rose, from 264 to 606 cases. The construction, mining and chemical sectors are among the most hazardous industries, due to their high occupational injury rates and potential to cause major industrial accidents. Workers in these industries are also prone to work-related diseases.

In Cambodia, garment, brick factory and construction workers are reported as being most vulnerable to workplace accidents. As well as the risk of accidents, workers in construction sites are often exposed to high levels of dust, including asbestos, and face the risk of occupational lung diseases, including lung cancer. The mining and chemical industries are important for the country’s socio-economic development, yet these sectors have the potential to cause major industrial accidents and need adequate control measures.

There is an urgent needs to strengthen OSH protection in small enterprises and informal economy workplaces in these two countries. Many employers and workers in small enterprises are becoming more aware of the impact that occupational accidents and diseases have, on both the lives of individual workers and on the productivity and profitability of their enterprises, and ultimately on the welfare of their societies. However, small enterprises and informal economy workplaces have few opportunities to get practical support to improve their OSH and productivity.

The ILO/Japan Multi-bilateral Programme supports ASEAN countries to improve their OSH standards. It has also facilitated intra-ASEAN cooperation on OSH, through support for ASEAN OSHNET and a project dissemination workshop in Viet Nam.

Cambodia established an Occupational Safety and Health Master Plan covering 2009-2013, in line with the ILO OSH Convention (C187), and implementation has begun. However effective implementation needs the development of a tripartite consultation mechanism; for example, the establishment of a National Tripartite OSH Council supported by enterprise-level OSH Committees. Cambodia is also interested in including small and midsize enterprises and informal workplaces in this work.

For further information please contact:

Mr Yasuo Ariga
Chief Technical Advisor
Tel.: +66 2 288 1720
Fax: +66 2 280 1735