Safety Training Centre Initiated

Safety Training Centre Initiated

Amid the current building boom, thousands of construction workers in Cambodia risk their lives for a daily fee of less than USD10. To tackle this issue, an initiative to establish the first construction safety training centre is underway and hoping to start training workers soon.

After witnessing the lack of professional certified safety training in Cambodia, Stephen Bradley, managing director at Bradley and Associates, initiated a safety training centre that will target not only workers in the construction industry but also in other sectors.

Founded in 2014, Bradley and Associates provides professional consultancy and training services in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), and other safety-related issues.

The proposed training school was initiated under a recently signed MoU between Eurocham and the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC) to improve building standards in the construction sector, including OHS. The plan was discussed on 6 May at the first construction forum organised by the European Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (Eurocham) and the Cambodia Constructors Association (CCA), focusing on the theme of ‘Occupational Health and Safety and Worksite Safety’

To date, much of the ground work for the centre has been laid down through initial discussions with a large local Cambodian-owned construction company that backs the initiative. Land in Phnom Penh for the centre has already been was selected while the unspecified budget for construction may be financed via the UK-based Institution of Safety and Health.

Bradley’s vision is to transform the centre into a self-funding institute through training fees and other sponsorship. “The aim would be to have all training verified and certified by the Cambodian government, so that a national standard in OHS would be established,” Post Property reported him as saying.

Bradley hopes the centre will open and offer basic training by the end of 2016. He also sought support from the Cambodia Constructors Association (CCA), a privately-run building group which represents constructors in Cambodia.

Representing the MLMUPC at the construction seminar, Secretary of State H.E. Pen Sophal said the ministry endorsed the idea of the training centre since safety at construction sites is one of the ministry’s main priorities. He also stated that the long-awaited construction law expected to be enacted at the end of this year will also cover safety issues but stressed that more time is needed to implement the law.

“Safety has become a major issue for the MLMUPC,” he said. “We have the proper legal framework to implement the construction law but it takes time.”

He also mentioned that the ministry is drawing up regulations to govern the construction sector by replicating the international safety standards set by other Asian countries.

According to a survey by the ministry, Cambodia’s construction industry generates around 200,000 to 250,000 jobs for people daily. About 70 percent of them work on building sites in Phnom Penh. Non-skilled workers earn USD6 to USD7.5 per day, skilled workers earn from USD12.5 to USD15 per day, while engineers and architects earn from USD350 to USD2,000 per month.

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