The Labour Ministry plans to ensure that at least 98 percent of enterprises in the Kingdom have in-house infirmaries by the end of next year.
Leng Tong, director of the ministry’s Occupational Health and Safety Department, yesterday noted at a workshop that at present, 80 percent of among more than one thousand enterprises already have infirmaries.
The workshop, held at the ministry in cooperation with civil society groups UNFPA, PE&D, FHI 360 and CARE, was aimed at sharing experiences on the setting up of such infirmaries in order to ensure employees’ health at the workplace.
Mr Tong said that the ministry was targeting to have 98 percent of the enterprises to have the infirmaries by the end of next year and will carry out checks to see if companies have complied with regulations requiring them to have one.
“The health of employees is very important and employers must take care of them by having in-house infirmaries,” he said.
Mr Tong noted that companies with more than 50 workers must have large infirmaries, those with 20 to 49 workers must have a sick bay and those with fewer than 20 workers must have a fully stocked first-aid box.
“In-house infirmaries will ensure that employees who are injured or fall sick in the workplace can be treated quickly and those who are in serious condition must be rushed to hospital,” he added.
According to the ministry’s Guidelines for the Establishment of Enterprise Infirmaries, the infirmary must be located near the workplace with easy access for patients, have sufficient light and a good atmosphere, and be far away from workplace noise, garbage, dust, smoke and foul smells.
The infirmary shall be run by a physician and assisted by one or more nurses, based on the number of workers.
When there are more than 200 workers, the infirmary must include, in addition to medicines and bandages, beds for the injured or sick to lie on before they are transferred to a hospital.
Labour Minister Ith Samheng said at the workshop that all large enterprises should have infirmaries with a doctor and should be well stocked with medicines and equipment.
He noted that some companies have complained that they have no space to set up an infirmary and those operating in economic zones suggested having a common one in the area.
Mr Samheng dismissed the suggestion, saying that the regulations require each enterprise to have its own infirmary.
“These are problems which the ministry will discuss but as for the regulations, the enterprise must have infirmaries, including medicine, medical equipment and doctors to save the employees when they are injured or ill during working hours,” he said.