Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NSSF figures show falls in worker crashes, faintings

NSSF figures show falls in worker crashes, faintings

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
NSSF president Ouk Samvichea speaks to the press yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

NSSF figures show falls in worker crashes, faintings

Statistics from the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) released yesterday showed a 14 percent drop in garment worker traffic accidents and a 44 drop in faintings, though one expert said the lack of structural changes in the industry meant the drop could be little more than a fluke.

At its annual meeting yesterday, the NSSF released a report stating that 2016 saw just over 5,600 traffic accident cases, down from the 6,491 reported in 2015. While the number of deaths dropped from 130 to 103, the number of workers injured in such accidents, however, saw only a tiny drop of 1 percent, to 7,446 in 2016.

Meanwhile, 1,160 workers fainted while working on the factory floor last year, down from 1,806 incidents in 2015. The primary cause for the fainting was “psychological” reasons, the report says, referring to instances where workers faint upon seeing a colleague collapse, followed by health reasons and inhaling noxious substances.

Ouk Samvichea, the NSSF’s president, attributed the drop in fainting to the body’s efforts to improve workers’ health, along with improving factory conditions, but said he was still concerned about the high number of traffic accidents.

“Even though traffic accidents involving workers are down, the number of cases is still worrying, because a lot of workers have died and were injured [last year],” Samvichea said.

He added that the NSSF had promoted the new Traffic Law and stressed the importance of driver’s licences to some 1,500 worker transport drivers.

However, labour advocate William Conklin said the accident figures were no cause for celebration, noting that the underlying issues in the sector – safe transportation options and effective implementation of the Traffic Law – had not been adequately addressed so far.

“A drop in the figures does not mean a whole lot. There needs to be a lot of structural changes,” said Conklin, country director for Solidarity Center. “Without that, the numbers could bounce back next year.”

He was equally sceptical of the fainting statistics given that most factories had invested little in addressing longstanding factory floor issues like overheating and providing nutritious meals.

Prominent unionist Pav Sina, head of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, was even more dismissive of the traffic accident numbers.

“I think that till the end of 2016, we saw that the traffic accidents with garment workers happened almost every day,” he said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all