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Fumes fuel faintings

A garment worker recovers yesterday at Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh after fainting at the Su Tong Fang Group Ying Kam factory. A total of seven workers were sent to the hospital after fainting.

Fumes from oil used in sewing machines caused seven workers at a garment factory in the capital’s Russei Keo district to faint yesterday afternoon, a union leader and company representative said.

Hai Soveth, factory president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of Cambodia, said seven female workers at a facility run by Su Tong Fang Group Ying Kan were sent to Calmette Hospital yesterday evening after they fainted from the fumes.  

About 900 workers were sent home at about 4:00pm to avoid a repeat of the mass fainting incidents that hit other factories, Hai Soveth said. 

Hoeurn Chanthou, 27, said she felt dizzy and weak in the knees and that her chest tightened before she began vomiting from the fumes.  

“My health was weak and when I smelled oil it made me dizzy and I vomited,” she said from the hospital.

“My friends carried me out and sent me to the hospital,” she said, adding that this was the first time this had happened at the factory.  

San Chhinh, an administrative officer at the factory, said the workers who fainted had recovered.

They fainted because the factory had switched the oil it used for sewing machines, she said, adding and that it would go back to the oil it had used before. “Most workers will be back on the job today,” she said.

Yi Kanitha, deputy director of the occupational health department at the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, said he was unaware of yesterday’s fainting incident a the factory.



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