More than 100 workers at the KKN Apparel factory in Koh Kong province’s Special Economic Zone fainted yesterday after the smell of oil spread inside the building.
Yuk Sangvat, director of the provincial labour and vocational training department, said 127 workers fainted due to the smell of oil and smoke from machinery that was clearing land nearby.
However, he said it did not cause significant impact to the health of the workers after they received treatment at the provincial referral hospital.
“Next to the factory, they have cleared the land to construct more buildings, so the smell of oil and the smoke spread through the window of the factory, causing workers to faint,” he said.
“Initially, just a few workers fainted, but after seeing that, other workers fainted one after the other. However, they are getting better now.”
According to the National Social Security Fund, the NSSF coordinated with Koh Kong provincial hall officials to send the workers to hospital. All transport and treatment costs would be covered by NSSF.
Sok Chan Dany, one of the workers who fainted, said they had been busy at work at about 9am yesterday when a bad odour from outside spread inside the factory.
“I am not sure what it was, but the smell was strange. It was like the smell of oil because near the factory, they are preparing to construct another factory building,” the 36-year-old said.
“My health is getting better now because the factory allowed us to rest.”
After the incident, provincial Governor Mithona Phouthorng paid a visit to the workers who fainted. “Thank you to the doctors and the police who helped to intervene and rescue workers on time,” she said.
According to an NSSF report, a total of 1,160 workers at 18 factories fainted last year, a decline from 2016 which saw 1,603 workers faint at 22 factories.
The report added the main causes of fainting included the smell of chemicals from the surrounding environment, the smell of shoe glue, the smell of smoke, an unclean environment outside the building, consumption of food at irregular times, not enough air circulation, electrical problems and abstract beliefs.