The Building and Wood Workers’ Trade federation of Cambodia (BWTUC) and Center for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights (CENTRAL) on Tuesday called on authorities to inspect safety conditions following the death of two workers in Kampot province last week.
The two fatalities were named as 31-year-old Kon Tal and 34-year-old Menh Ron who worked in a quarry for Chinese subcontractor Kampot (C.K) Industrial Special Economic Zone at Thai Boon Rong factory in La’ang village, La’ang Commune, Dang Tong district.
An investigation showed that they were victims of a collapse from the section of the quarry they were working on.
Their bodies were extracted from the rocks on the evening of May 29 at 7pm and sent to their families for funeral ceremonies.
BWTUC and CENTRAL noted that this has not been the first instance of fatalities within the manual labour sector, alluding to the tragedies of building collapses in Preah Sihanouk and Kep provinces.
The organisations requested authorities push for measures such as immediately suspending the subcontractor pending inspections and evaluations from relevant skilled institutions to be sure that the company has proper authorisation to operate.
They also pushed for regular, effective and transparent labour inspections to inspect safety conditions and standards at all subcontracting companies at Thai Boon Rong and provide adequate compensation to the victim’s families and dependents.
“We are calling for authorities to search for the people responsible and prosecute them according to the laws of the Kingdom of Cambodia,” they said.
BWTUC and CENTRAL said they will continue to follow and pay close attention to the matter to ensure that the victim’s families receive proper compensation and justice according to the law.
Kampot provincial police chief, Major General Mao Chanmathurith, said the workers died due to an explosion that lacked technical planning and managerial direction.
He said the authorities will not suspend the company because it is legally licensed to operate. However, he said they have suspended works at the area where the incident happened and will be investigating how the company operates in the quarry.
“Work in the location surrounding the incident is suspended pending an investigation. We are concerned about the operations in this area as they could be caused by a lack of health and safety measures by both workers and managers,” he said.
Maj Gen Chanmathurith said the authorities are working with the company to prepare compensation to the victim’s family.