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4 Aug 2014

Christopher Ian Smith, Irrawaddy (Myanmar)

Myanmar: Report highlights dangerous working conditions amid construction boom; cites positive initiative by Proximity Designs

“Risky Business for Rangoon’s Labor Class”, 4 August 2014

…In workshop after workshop, the extremely dangerous working conditions remain the same in Rangoon’s industrial zones… In a move to help establish working conditions that meet international standards, the government will soon be implementing a new regulation for businesses to keep a certified safety officer on location…Despite these steps, there’s a chance that only the large companies—or those in view of the public—will see any real change…Proximity Designs, a social enterprise that manufactures low-cost irrigation systems, raises the possibility that just providing safety gear and regulations may not be enough. Workshop manager Thwin Naung Soe explains that…most safety issues stem from workers’ mentality…In order to combat this mentality and construct safe working conditions, Thwin Naung Soe set up a system that revolves around education and putting employees through training demonstrations and certification classes…