Govt to boost workplace safety

Govt to boost workplace safety

Workers dismantle a water pipe along Khlong 4 Road to make way for a road expansion project in Pathum Thani. The government is promoting workplace safety and better welfare for workers to mark Labour Day today. APICHIT JINAKUL
Workers dismantle a water pipe along Khlong 4 Road to make way for a road expansion project in Pathum Thani. The government is promoting workplace safety and better welfare for workers to mark Labour Day today. APICHIT JINAKUL

The government has vowed to boost safety standards in workplaces, saying it is considering treating work-safety promotion as a national agenda item to mark Labour Day today.

Speaking after chairing a meeting on promotion of workplace safety chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, Labour Minister Gen Surasak Karnjanarat said a master plan has been drawn up to bring about a better quality of life for workers by improving safety standards where they work.

The committee will seek approval from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to announce that work safety promotion is on the national agenda and a priority policy objective to be achieved, Gen Surasak said.

As a way of implementing the policy, he said the government is considering upgrading agencies responsible for promoting work safety into a new department which must deal with such matters, the minister said. No details were available on whether this will mean tougher inspections of workplace safety standards.

The government also plans to improve occupational health and the working environment through measures including convincing employers and parties concerned to agree to build a working culture while recognising workplace safety and practising it. The law related to work safety will also be enforced and punishments meted out against violators, the minister said.

The issue is expected to be a key demand highlighted by labour groups converging today to celebrate Labour Day. 

Other May Day demands for the government are likely to include hiking the 300-baht minimum daily wage, reducing consumer prices and offering better healthcare treatment for workers under the social security scheme. 

The committee on work safety promotion also agreed yesterday that it would propose the government ratify the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) Convention No.187 on a Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health.

Gen Surasak said the main reason Thailand has to ratify the ILO convention is to enhance work safety in the country to comply with international standards.

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