Nearly 60 garment workers were yesterday injured in an accident involving four vehicles along National Road 1 in Svay Rieng province’s Svay Teab district.
Pum Sokunthy, a union representative from You Li garment factory, said the accident happened at about 7am when the workers were in two trucks travelling to work.
He said the accident occurred when an SUV travelling in front of the trucks braked to avoid hitting a container truck which suddenly entered the highway from a side road.
“This traffic accident was caused by the container truck and involved the SUV and the two trucks carrying the workers,” Mr Sokunthy said. “The workers were sent to the provincial and district referral hospitals.”
He noted that the workers were not seriously hurt, but three or four of them were pregnant and doctors were checking if the foetuses in their wombs were affected.
Lieutenant Colonel Loeuk Neang, district deputy police chief in charge of traffic order, also said that the accident occurred when the container truck suddenly entered National Road 1, causing the SUV driver to slam on his brakes.
He said the first truck ferrying the workers could not stop in time and hit the SUV, making the second truck hit the first.
“The workers on the trucks were injured slightly, and the SUV was only slightly damaged,” Lt Col Neang said. “The SUV’s and truck drivers agreed on a settlement over the damage to their vehicles.”
An annual report released by the Labour Ministry’s National Social Security Fund in March said there were 1,692 traffic accidents involving garment workers last year. It noted that 40 workers were killed.
The report said that 40 percent of crashes last year were caused by speeding, 24 percent by reckless overtaking, 17 percent by failure to adhere to traffic rules and 18 percent due to a lack of vehicle maintenance.
In 2017, there were 1,691 traffic accidents that resulted in 33 deaths and 2,193 injuries.
Labour Minister Ith Samheng said during the report’s release that 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,” he said.