>Cambodia’s construction boom worsens work safety

>A construction site in Phnom Penh.

PHNOM PENH — The race is on to build Phnom Penh’s first skyscraper but as the modernizing city famous for its graceful colonial skyline transforms, safety standards appear to be stuck in the past.

The construction business in Cambodia is booming, attracting investments of $3.2 billion in the first six months of this year and luring some 40,000 construction workers from impoverished provinces.

But, as construction worker Chan Vuthy can attest, work safety has deteriorated as buildings spring up.

The day a blade from a malfunctioning saw cut deep into his knee, the 23-year-old was wearing flip-flops, a cloth hat and no protective equipment. When he stumbled to the bottom of the site, his boss scolded him for recklessness.

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