About 1,800 people fainted at work in 2014, roughly 1,000 more than the previous year, according to Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC) statistics surveying multiple industries in the Kingdom.
Work-related deaths fell from about 96 in 2013 to 73 in 2014, while issues such as arrests and firings of workers rose, says a Thursday statement signed by Ath Thorn, president of the approximately 90,000-member confederation.
Data came from a mixture of reports from CLC members and official statistics from the National Police Department, National Social Security Fund and other government bodies, Thorn said yesterday.
“[There were] high number increases, especially the number of arrested,” Thorn said. “This year  people were arrested; I’m not including the people arrested in the Veng Sreng protest.”
Without including the 23 people arrested January 2 and 3 of 2014, when police and military authorities shot dead at least five people, the 32 cited in the statement were mostly arrested for participating in protests. Charges included incitement and violence, Thorn said.
In 2013, the 823 recorded faintings at work was about half of the 1,686 recorded in 2012. In an interview yesterday, Thorn attributed the skyrocketing rates of fainting and other work-related injuries to a lack of implementation and enforcement of laws dictating safety in the workplace.
Inadequate enforcement of workplace standards are likely a large factor in faintings and the high number of Cambodians working in dangerous environments – 4,737, according to CLC – said Chuon Mom Thol, president of the reputedly government-leaning Cambodian Union Federation yesterday.
Although Mom Thol said he had not seen the CLC statement and could not corroborate its findings, he said enforcement of safety codes would decrease accidents.
“Everybody has to enforce the law,” he said.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SEN DAVID