Home > Local News > Mass faintings at city factory

Mass faintings at city factory

Thorn Sinorn, 19, is comforted by Theang Chan Thorn, 21, at the
Cambodian-Russian Friendship Hospital after she fainted at the King
Fashion garment factory in Dangkor district yesterday.
Photo by: Heng Chivoan
Hundreds of garment workers received medical treatment after fainting at
the King Fashion garment factory in Dangkor district on Wednesday
evening and yesterday morning.

More than 200 workers reportedly
fainted at the factory in Choam Chao commune on Wednesday evening,
followed by about 100 who collapsed the following morning, district
police said.

At the Cambodian-Russian Friendship hospital,
28-year-old worker Doeun Sophana said she had found it difficult to
breathe in the factory, becoming dizzy and vomiting before fainting
yesterday morning.

“I think the workers fainted because of chemicals spread on the clothes,” she said.

El
Sameal, a 22-year-old worker at from the factory who stayed on her feet
and helped colleagues to the hospital, said an unpleasant smell had
lingered in the factory for two days ahead of the faintings.

But
Ken Loo, secretary general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in
Cambodia, said medical examinations of the workers had revealed that low
blood-glucose levels had caused them to faint.
Hazardous chemicals, he added, are not used in GMAC factories.

“The
workers that fainted last evening or yesterday were of course sent to a
medical facility where they had blood tests and were certified fit,
with the only observation being that their blood level was a bit on the
low side,” he said.

He added that many of the workers who fainted yesterday morning had returned from the hospital the previous night.

Maeve
Galvin, a communications officer at the International Labour
Organisation, said yesterday that the cause of the faintings will remain
unclear until the necessary inquiry is conducted.

“It just seems
unusual for a mass number of people to faint from malnutrition,” she
said, adding that it was “absolutely a cause for alarm” if malnutrition
is indeed the reason for the faintings.

Mouen Tola, head of the
labour programme at the Community Legal Education Centre, said yesterday
that many workers are not properly trained in dealing with fabrics that
have been treated with chemicals to prevent insects from destroying
them.

“They had over 200 workers faint, and what the government
should do is to clean up everything inside the factory,” Moeun Tola
said.

“Even [if] we don’t know what is the cause, we have to clean up the environment before we allow them to go back to work.”

Pok
Vanthat, director of the occupational health department at the Ministry
of Labour, said yesterday that investigations into the case were
ongoing. King Fashion representatives could not be reached for comment.

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Categories: Local News
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