Four Workers Dead After Fall at Construction Site

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Traffic in Sihanoukville on January 21, 2021. (Tran Techseng/VOD)
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Four construction workers are dead and another has been hospitalized with serious injuries after a cable on their lift snapped, causing them to fall from the 15th story of a building, a police official said.

Preah Sihanouk provincial police chief Chuon Narin said the cable-snapping incident, on Friday morning in Sihanoukville’s Bei commune, led to three immediate deaths, while a fourth worker died after being taken to hospital. The fifth, injured worker is still in hospital.

Authorities were looking for the owner of the building to investigate the incident, Narin said.

According to the National Social Security Fund, five construction workers died in 2020 and a further seven in 2021. Thirty-four serious injuries were recorded by the fund in each of those two years, though an official said the data included only reporting from about 10% of construction companies registered with the NSSF.

Two larger accidents on construction sites in 2019 made headlines after buildings under construction in Sihanoukville and Kep collapsed, killing 28 and 36 people, respectively, most of whom were living on-site.

Workers and unions have raised concerns about workplace safety and lax regulations in the industry. According to a 2017 survey of more than 1,000 construction workers, nearly 1 in 5 said they had been injured while working, and 41% complained about a lack of safety equipment provided or used on-site.

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