Mass Fainting in Shoe Factory

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Garment workers recover at a hospital after fainting at their workplace in Kandal province in 2014. (Photo: Reuters/Samrang Pring)

PHNOM PENH (Xinhua) – More than 60 workers in the Long Lead footwear factory in north Cambodia’s Kampong Chhnang province collapsed on Saturday afternoon for fear of an electric fault, a local police chief said.

“Over 60 workers fainted after an electric fault broke out in a workplace and triggered fears among workers,” said Duong Hong, police chief of Kampong Trolach district, where the incident occurred. “They got nervous and tried to make their way out of the factory, which resulted in mass fainting.”

The ill-fated workers were sent to hospitals soon after the incident and no one was in serious condition, he said, adding that workers’ poor health was blamed for the fainting.

According to the website of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, the factory employs 1,405 workers.

Last month, some 63 workers in the Sun Best garment factory in southern Kandal province also got either injured or fainted in a stampede triggered by an electric fault.

Mass faintings happen frequently in garment and footwear factories. The Ministry of Labour reported 1,806 faintings in 34 factories last year, up 119 percent from 823 in a year earlier.

The main causes were overwork, poor health, poor environment, exposure to chemical substances, and hysteria, the ministry said.​ 

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