Nearly 100 workers at a shoe factory in Kampong Speu province fainted during their shift Friday morning after a worker suspected of living with epilepsy had a seizure.
The National Social Security Fund said 70 workers fainted at the Wing Star Shoes factory in Kong Pisey district at 8.20am.
The NSSF sent a team to the factory to check on the workers and get them to health centres for treatment.
Kampong Speu provincial police said Yeng Sedim, a 34-year-old worker suspected of having epilepsy, had a seizure.
Ms Sedim’s scream caused a mass panic, prompting workers to run, feel dizzy and faint.
Khem Sophannra, district police chief, said factory security guards, district police and other local authorities helped send workers to a nearby clinic and hospital.
“Some workers who helped their fainting friends got sick as well due to exhaustion,” Mr Sophannara said. “Now they are all feeling better.”
In a report, the NSSF said 1,665 workers fainted in the first seven months of this year; during the same period in 2017, 1,603 fainted.
In May, NSSF director Ouk Samvithya said fainting on factory floors is caused by dizziness, breathing difficulty and anxiety.
“So all workers have to be insured by the Social Security for Health Insurance Scheme,” Mr Samvithya said. “Employers or factory owners have an obligation to send their workers to an infirmary or send them to centres that have an agreement with the NSSF.”
In July, labour rights group Central said mass fainting cases are extremely common in Cambodian factories due to the high working temperatures, poor ventilation and malnutrition stemming from low wages.