Nearly 40 garment workers at the New Fuma Costume factory in Phnom Penh’s Por Senchey district yesterday fainted and were sent to hospital.
Chom Chao commune police chief Captain Theng Kosal yesterday said that 36 female workers at the factory fainted at about 8.30am due to exhaustion.
“They were immediately sent to the hospital and arrived on time to receive help before they were then sent home,” Cap Kosal said. “They fainted because they were tired and did not have enough sleep. They walked too much on the weekend, causing them to feel tired and weak when they came back for work.”
Cap Kosal added that the factory gave them the day off but expects them to return to work today.
New Fuma Costume factory officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Kaing Monika, deputy secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, yesterday said that there were problems in the factory, such as heat levels and air flow.
He added that a Labour Ministry committee has monitored the case carefully and advised immediate corrective actions be taken.
“Workers can only return back to work on Wednesday after major issues are fixed,” Mr Kaing said. “On the workers’ side, there is also a personal health issue, as we observed that it started with only one or two workers, which caused others to panic and lose balance. It’s usually a mass psychological illness that follows.”
Mr Kaing said that among the corrective actions, there should be more of a focus on health and education for the workers conducted in the factory. The ministry’s committee will also take part in the relevant scheduled training courses.
Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, yesterday said that cases of workers fainting have reduced.
However, he urged all relevant officials to pay more attention to prevent workers from fainting and continue to lower the number of cases.
“Inspection officials must examine every factory in order to make sure all workplaces are safe for workers and they should organise workshops in factories to inform workers on how to prevent fainting,” Mr Sina said.