A labour rights group yesterday called on the Labour Ministry to thoroughly inspect a bag factory for health and safety violations following a mass fainting incident earlier this week.
However, an official with the ministry’s fainting research and prevention committee said that inspections of the factory have already been carried out, noting that fumes from a nearby factory were to blame for the incident.
The Centre for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights yesterday called on the Labour Ministry to inspect working conditions at the Starite Cambodia factory in Kandal province’s Ang Ang Snuol district, where 117 workers fainted on Monday.
“Inspectors should be tasked with finding the root cause of the incident and ensure that the factory is in strict compliance,” a statement from the organisation said.
The rights group added that they met with approximately 60 workers from the factory in two medical centres.
Workers explained that the mass fainting occurred in three different groups. The first fainted at the factory’s sewing section. The second fainted shortly after. And the group fainted after attempting to assist their fallen colleagues.
“Mass fainting are prevalent in factories in Cambodia because of high temperatures, poor ventilation and malnutrition stemming from low wages,” the statement noted.
However, the Labour Ministry said that it was a nearby factory that caused the mass fainting.
Pok Vanthat, chairman of the fainting research and prevention committee at the Labour Ministry, said yesterday that his working team went to inspect the factory on Monday and Tuesday and found that the incident caused by chemical fumes coming from a factory nearby.
“The factory that had workers faint, it was caused by the other factory nearby because chemical fumes went into the Starite factory causing their workers to faint,” he said.
He said that the workers who fainted were feeling better now and have resumed work.
“We told the factory which caused the fainting to spray chemicals elsewhere,” he said, adding that inspectors would fine them if they did not comply.