The Labour Ministry has created a technical working group to study and investigate what causes fainting in an attempt to reduce episodes of fainting at factories nationwide.
Labour Minister Ith Samheng, who is also chairman of the National Committee for Health and Work Safety, said the working group is comprised of 32 stakeholders from the Labour Ministry, Health Ministry, National Social Security Fund, hospital officials and the International Labour Organisation.
“The working group must go to enterprises and check the infirmary, investigate why fainting happens, research the general situation, prepare a report on its findings, and cooperate with relevant institutes, employers and labour organisations to improve our understanding about fainting,” he said in a letter dated February 26.
Leng Tong, director of the Labour Ministry’s occupational health and safety department, said yesterday the working group would first hold a meeting with the Health Ministry and then set a schedule to visit factories.
“We have to cooperate with the working group before we investigate the factories,” he said.
Mr Tong said that normally members of his department would inspect factories and fine them if they were not following protocol, but the working group would only go to factories to determine why workers were fainting.
“The ministry has placed stronger restrictions on factories so we hope that they will be better than before,” he said.
Last month, after the first meeting of the National Committee for Health and Work Safety, Mr Samheng told reporters that the ministry and stakeholders had agreed to prevent fainting, in line with recommendations from Prime Minister Hun Sen.
He said the committee would try to reduce fainting among workers to as little as possible, or eradicate it completely.
“We will create a regulation for relevant institutes to follow in order to stop fainting and we will educate our workers about the issue,” Mr Samheng said.
The week before, Mr Hun Sen had called for an investigation into why workers continued to faint en masse in factories.
“We should expand our investigations into the phenomenon of people fainting,” he said. “We should study this phenomenon to find a solution.”
The number of garment workers who fainted in 2017 increased 38 percent compared with 2016, with 22 factories hit by fainting incidents.
A total of 1,603 workers fainted in 2017, of which 1,599 were women, according to a report from the National Social Security Fund.