Thirty garment workers were hospitalised yesterday morning after falling faint at a garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district just three days after 39 employees at the same facility were sent for medical treatment with similar symptoms.
Management at the Chinese-owned Chun Chao Garment Factory declined to comment on the situation yesterday.
However, Dr Pok Vantha, president of the National Social Security Fund’s fainting committee, said preliminary investigations indicate a faulty ventilation fan was to blame for the fainting.
“The air ventilation brought a bad smell from the toilet. We asked them to change the ventilation system and the factory promised to do it by Monday.
[However,] they only partially completed it and let the garment workers work,” said Vantha, adding that the factory has now pledged to repair the ventilation in time for employees to resume work by Friday, with those who have previously fallen faint returning next Monday.
Fifteen of the 39 who fell ill last Friday received treatment at Moul Met Clinic, according to clinic manager Sem Sok Visal.
“The doctors checked them and found their blood low in sugar and calcium. They were also shocked by other [fainting] garment workers,” said Visal.
A preliminary report on the faintings produced by the workers advocacy NGO Solidarity Center quotes a Labour Ministry medical expert who inspected the factory last Friday.
The expert called for an overhaul of the building’s ventilation, specifically that its fans be diverted away from its bathrooms.