OSH Management System Worth for Cambodia in Striving toward OSH Protection for Workers

Annually, work-related diseases and injuries were responsible for the deaths of around 2 million people, according to joint estimates from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Labour Organisation (ILO). Work-related diseases and injuries strain health systems, reduce productivity and can have a catastrophic impact on household incomes as well as country economy.

Mr. Leng Tong, Director of the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DoSH) of the Ministry of Labour, said workers should be prevented with knowledge and protected from the national legal framework and programme at the country level.

He was speaking at the “Validation of Implementation of the 2nd Master Plan on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) 2018-2022 and Consultation Meeting on the Draft 3rd Master Plan on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) 2023-2027” on Thursday.

Mr. Leng Tong said the occupational safety and health management system in the workplace has been continuously improved through the preparation and expansion of the implementation of laws and regulations. So far, Cambodia has developed and implemented successfully the 1st and 2nd Master Plan on OSH, while also endorsed some of OSH legal documents include: the National OSH Profile, National Asbestos Profile, and also has in draft the National OSH Policy and National OSH Law.

“The 2nd master plan that is being validated today identifies six priority activities, included: Strengthened the national occupational health and safety system; strengthened inspection work and implementation of the occupational safety and health standards; promoted employer’s and workers’ participation in occupational health and safety activities; promoted and implemented special programmes for hazardous occupations; promoted occupational health and safety protection for small and medium enterprises; and workplaces of rural and informal economy sectors; plus supported occupational safety and health collaboration on child labour elimination, fight against drugs and communicable and non-communicable diseases at enterprises levels,” he added.

Mr. Sok Kin, President of Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia (BWTUC) said taking care of workers’ health is a need, therefore the involvement of all partners in this master plan on OSH development and implementation are crucial to make so that every partner has a role.

Kin added that the government shall move forward with the national OSH policy and national OSH law in the coming years for the effective of OSH implementation.

Mr. Yasuo Ariga, Chief Technical Advisor of the ILO/Japan Programme on Enhancing the Occupational Safety and Health Standard in Construction Sector in Cambodia, mentioned that OSH is an issue which we at the ILO take very seriously. The historical development that was made at the International Labour Conference (ILC), in June 2022, added safe and healthy working environment to Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. This means that Occupational Safety and Health will become the fifth category to the 4 categories so far.

Mr. Leng Tong called for building a positive safety and health culture and addressing wider occupational safety and health issues in Cambodia will depend on continued strong commitment, collaboration and concerted action by the government, employers, trade unions, workers and all other stakeholders. Everyone wins when OSH is made a priority and when there is effective collaboration. 

The 3rd master plan on OSH will continue serving as roadmap on OSH which consist of clear strategic objectives and activities with SMART indicators for Cambodia to move forward in 2023-2027.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press