Dozens of workers at the Kingmaker Footwear factory in Svay Rieng province fainted yesterday evening, and the authorities are baffled at what caused it, said government and union officials.
The factory produces shoes and it is located in the Manhattan Special Economic Zone in the province.
Ou Sokhoeun, director of the provincial labour department, yesterday said more than 40 workers fainted while they were working.
“I just received information about workers fainting and I ordered my officials to cooperate with provincial National Social Security Fund officials to go down and help them and find what caused the fainting,” Mr Sokhoeun said.
Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, yesterday said he also does not know what caused the fainting.
“We are working on the case to find out the reason,” Mr Sina said. “My officials went down to visit the workers at a hospital, but the hospital does not know why the workers fainted.”
He said the workers fainted when they saw the other workers faint.
However, Mr Sina said the authorities must look into the case, despite decreasing numbers of fainting workers in the Kingdom.
“Inspection officials with the Labour and Environment Ministries have to inspect the factory’s environment and punish factory owners who do not follow ministry guidelines,” he said.
Mr Sina noted a worker on Saturday died in hospital after she fainted during a shift. He said she was sent to hospital, but it was too late.
Kingmaker Footwear factory managers could not be reached for comment yesterday.
In July, 36 garment workers fainted at the New Fuma Costume factory in Phnom Penh’s Por Senchey district due to exhaustion.
“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,” Captain Theng Kosal, chief of Chom Chao commune police, said at the time.
Last year, Labour Minister Ith Samheng issued 11 guidelines for factory owners to follow to prevent workers from passing out.
“They must check the environment surrounding the building, both inside and outside the factory, especially before allowing staff to enter to prevent workers from fainting,” he said.