April 13, 2013 (Cambodia)
Urgent attention must be given to fire safety
in the Cambodian garment and footwear industry according to a new report
released by the International Labour Organization’s Better Factories
Cambodia program (BFC).
BFC’s 29th Synthesis Report on Working
Conditions in Cambodia’s Garment Sector released, finds a worrying
increase in fire safety violations. The number of factories abiding by
the legal requirement to keep access paths free of obstructions
unprecedentedly decreased by 30% to 57% compliance during the reporting
“Our report findings demonstrate that improvements are not
being made in many key areas of working conditions and this is likely
to be in large part due to the rapid growth of the industry. However,
growth should not result in an increase in non-compliance among
factories in an area as intrinsic to worker safety as having clear
access pathways”: said Jill Tucker, Chief Technical Advisor of
ILO-Better Factories Cambodia.
She continued: “Recent garment
sector fire tragedies in neighboring countries demonstrate the great
need for Cambodia to address this issue in the interest of worker
The report also finds no significant change in areas
known to contribute to fainting incidents. Non-compliance with the legal
of limit of no more than two hours of overtime per day remains
persistently high at 88%.
78% of factories monitored were found to
have unacceptable heat levels representing an increase of 6% in the
number of factories out of compliance with this requirement since the
last report. In addition, workplace cleanliness has declined by 17% and
55 % of the factories have not provided sanitary means for drinking
The 29th Synthesis Report reflects compliance data from
monitoring reports completed between May 1, 2012 and October 31, 2012.
During this six-month period, Better Factories Cambodia produced
monitoring reports for 130 garment factories and six footwear factories.