Mass fainting hits workers at garment factory
Almost 60 garment workers at a factory in Phnom Penh’s Por Senchey district fainted yesterday in the third such incident since last week.
The 58 employees of Tien Sung Garment Company were said to have collapsed due to poor air quality in the factory. A number of workers also lost consciousness on Friday and Saturday last week.
Pon Vanthach, the vice-president of the Labor Ministry’s occupational safety and health department, said the factory had failed to improve the environment for workers despite government intervention after the first fainting reports last week.
He said: “After the incident, we took legal action to check technical problems at the factory. We asked the company to address five technical points, but they have only modified two points so far, and are allowing staff to continue their work.
“We have now taken action to make the company comply with our directive urgently.”
Mr. Vanthach said the directive requires the company to modify a generator installed as part of a dehumidification system, check a foul-smelling drainage system, clean pools of dirty water, provide medical checks for staff that fainted and educate employees about health at work.
So far the company has carried out work on the generator and spoken to staff about their well-being in the workplace.
He said the ministry has warned the factory to address the other issues as a matter of urgency. Staff who fainted have been signed off sick until Thursday and had all overtime suspended until they recover.
Tien Sung representatives could not be reached for comment.
Cheav Bunrith, a spokesman for the Labor Ministry’s National Social Security Fund, said officials from the fund had visited the factory to check on the situation and cooperated with management to send the victims to the hospital.
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