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Worker faintings rise but road deaths toll falls

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Work conditions are blamed for many faintings. KT/Chor Sokunthea

More garment workers fainted in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year but fewer workers died in road crashes.

A National Social Security Fund report said yesterday the number of garment workers who fainted in the first half of the year rose by 39 percent, or 117 workers.

“The causes of garment workers fainting, through the working group’s observations, include four major factors, including 50 percent due to psychological issues, 31 percent due to physical problems, 13 percent due to chemical problems and 6 percent due to biological problems,” the report said.

NSSF spokesman Cheav Bunrith declined to comment yesterday, citing a lack of documents within his reach.

But local media quoted Mr Bunrith saying that the number of workers who died and or were injured in traffic accidents in the first six months of 2017 was down on the same period in 2016.

Mr Bunrith said that in the first half of 2017, 25 workers died in traffic accidents, a decrease of 17 workers compared with the same period last year.

He added that 208 workers were seriously injured and 1,370 were slightly injured in crashes so far this year, also a decrease from the first half of last year. He did not provide last year’s records.

Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, said the increase in workers who had fainted translated into worsening working conditions.

“If there are no changes, I think the number of fainting workers will still continue to rise,” he said, noting the ill-affects of long working hours, malnutrition due to low salaries and toxic work environments due to chemicals and inefficient cooling systems.

Mr Thorn added that the government should be taking legal action against factories where workers faint.

Mr Thorn said the decrease in traffic casualties could likely be attributed to the work of the NSSF and Labour Ministry to train truck drivers.

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