The National Social Security Fund of the Ministry of Labour said more than 1,600 workers fainted in 22 factories in 2017, an increase of more than 400 from the previous year.
According to a Facebook post that published the conclusion of the 2017 annual results and direction for 2018 on Friday, 1,603 workers from 22 factories fainted last year, of which 1,599 were women.
“The team for the prevention of fainting and work injury found that the fainting of workers came from the health problem of one or two workers first, which led other workers to panic and faint,” it said.
NSSF director Ouk Samvithya called on all factories to regularly inspect and maintain ventilation systems one hour before the workers enter the building and ensure the management of chemical smells inside and outside the building.
In addition, goods inside the factory must be stored in a manner not blocking ventilation, thermostats must be installed, infirmaries and emergency facilities must be prepared, and steam systems must be up to code.
“Workers, please take care of your health, consume nutritious and hygienic food, and take adequate rest in order to avoid the occurrence of fainting,” he said.
According to the report, 1,160 workers fainted at 18 factories in Phnom Penh and in Kandal, Kampong Chhnang, Svay Rieng, Takeo, Kampong Speu, Kampong Cham and Prey Veng provinces in 2016.
It added the cause of fainting included chemical problems, psychosocial problems, poor ventilation, blocked air flow, mechanical problems, irregular consumption of food and too much work.
NSSF spokesman Cheav Bunrith declined to comment on the increase in fainting cases.Fa Saly, president of the National Trade Union Confederation, asked the government to continue paying attention to the health of workers.
“The government should thoroughly examine the fabric and surrounding environmental issues, especially the heat because it has gotten hot recently making it difficult for workers,” he said.
“Another thing is food. They are still eating insufficient food because wages are limited, which puts them at risk of fainting.”