JILAF and the Lao Federation of Trade Unions (LFTU) jointly held a workplace environment improvement seminar in Savannakhet Province, Laos, on August 23-25 with the participation of 27 union leaders from Savannakhet and six neighboring provinces.
JILAF began workplace improvement seminars in Laos in fiscal 2007 and has been promoting the training of core trainers (senior leaders with the capability of leading workplace environment improvement activities in their own workplaces) who hopefully will be at the center of activities in that country. This time the seminar included a curriculum to improve the skills of core leaders and, as an assessment of the workplace environment improvement project in Laos, reports on cases of improvement in the various regions.
Among other things, the three-day program consisted of (1) an actual visit to a factory and demonstration of a checklist surveying the good points and the points that could be improved in the workplace; (2) an explanation of six technical areas (Materials handling, Workstation changes, Machine safety, Physical environment, Welfare facilities, Environmental protection) and group discussions; (3) presentation of good examples of the core technical areas in the factory and improvement points; and (4) reports on examples of workplace environment improvement by the core leaders.
In a lecture, Naoki Toyama, an expert at the Tokyo Occupational Safety and Health Center, introduced examples of union-led workplace environment improvement activities and their effects in other countries. The participants made such comments as “I understood that the building of a comfortable workplace environment is a big merit for workers and also leads to organization” and “From now on I intend to conduct more environment improvement activities in the workplace in order to protect the safety of workers.”
Meanwhile, the number of specific cases of improvement at regional workplaces in Laos is still small, so it is important for the core trainers and others to engage in practical activities even more positively from now on.
Support for this project by JILAF ends in the current fiscal year. From now on it is hoped that the LFTU headquarters will take the lead in promoting workplace environment improvement at many workplaces at the local level and that this will lead to a reduction in the number of industrial accidents in Laos.
|08/22||Mon||Preliminary visit to plant; seminar preparations|
|08/23||Tue||Seminar Day 1|
|08/24||Wed||Seminar Day 2|
|08/25||Thu||Seminar Day 3|