Nearly 70 Workers Faint in Kampong Speu ​Shoe Factory

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Garment workers in a factory in Cambodia on December 9, 2014 (ILO)

Nearly 70 workers in a Kampong Speu province shoe factory fainted while working on Thursday, with a labor official saying he could not point to the reason behind yet another mass fainting in a factory. 

Cheuk Borin, director of the Kampong Speu Provincial Labor Department, told VOD that 69 workers at Wing Star Shoes in Kong Pisei district’s Maha Russei commune fainted while on the job Thursday morning. 

Borin said his department worked with local authorities to send workers to the hospital, most of whom were discharged by Thursday afternoon.

The director said he did not know the cause of the mass fainting, adding that the Labor Ministry’s fainting prevention committee was still investigating. 

The incident occurred after one woman who was sick had fainted, and then workers around her fainted and fell to the ground, according to Borin.

“We have been working with NSSF [National Social Security Fund] in the province to cover medical expenses for them,” he added.

A 2017 NSSF report said workers fainted due to various factors, including chemical fumes in factories, limited ventilation, tight work spaces, stress, group panic and workers’ substandard health due to poor nutrition and lack of rest.

Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labor Confederation, told VOD previously that the Labor Ministry should inspect every factory where workers faint and encourage employers to improve work environments.

In 2013, a building in the Wing Star Shoes complex collapsed, killing three workers and injuring 10, Radio Free Asia reported. Two months later, Japanese athletic shoe company Asics, which sourced from the factory, said it would change its oversight process for Cambodian factories.

(Translated and edited from the original article on VOD Khmer)

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