A Labour Ministry annual report has shown that the number of garment workers who died in accidents last year sharply dropped when compared to data from 2017.
“There were 1,692 traffic accidents last year, leaving 40 garment workers dead and 1,854 others injured,” the report said. “There were 3,330 traffic accidents involving garment workers in 2017, which resulted in 68 dead and 4,785 others injured.”
Labour Minister Ith Samheng yesterday during the release of the report said the ministry will continue to address traffic accidents involving garment workers.
“We will strengthen traffic laws and facilitate [safe] transportation for our workers, which is a priority issue,” Mr Samheng said, adding that other ministries and institutions must also pay attention.
Accidents involving garment workers in 2017 occurred due to reckless driving, such as risky manoeuvrings and speeding.
Last year, the Labour Ministry announced plans for a national policy to curb the number of traffic accidents involving garment workers. The policy was aimed to encourage employers and truck drivers to prioritise road safety.
Additionally, the Labour Ministry report stated that more workers fainted last year than in 2017.
“The total number of garment workers who fainted in 10 factories last year was 1,825,” it said. “In 2017, incidents in 22 factories resulted in 1,245 garment workers fainting.”
Mr Samheng said there are many factors involved in fainting incidents.
“The increase in fainting cases of workers are not because of wages,” he said. “Increases in the minimum wage can help improve income and also living standards, but fainting incidents occurred due to factory temperatures, lack of oxygen and chemical fumes.”
Last month, a factory in Phnom Penh was hit three times by fainting incidents involving garment workers. A total of about 150 Olive Apparel garment factory workers fainted from February 23 to 26.
Colonel Yim Saran, chief of Por Senchey district police, said some workers fainted because of fumes from chemicals in the factory.