A GARMENT factory in Kampong Chhnang province was briefly shut at the weekend after almost 200 workers fainted on the job, officials said.
Roughly 185 employees at the M&V garment factory passed out and were sent to hospital Saturday, said Pao Sitha, director of the Kampong Chhnang Department of Labour and Vocational Training. He suggested a variety of explanations, from shock at a sudden power cut to health issues.
“They were afraid when the electricity in the factory was cut off, causing some workers to faint,” he said. “Then other workers followed them and fainted as well.”
Pao Sitha said it was likely that the workers were prone to fainting because they lacked vitamins from not having enough food to eat.
One of the workers, Meas Sopheap, said she fainted after inhaling strong chemicals from the fabrics.
“I was working, but I smelled this awful smell from the cotton inside the factory, and it caused me to collapse and lose consciousness,” she said.
Sam Chankea, the provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said doctors informed him that the workers fainted because of a lack of proper nutrients in their food. “In my opinion, if a lack of vitamins caused almost 200 workers to faint, maybe the factory should shut down,” he said.
Sam Chankea suggested that the chemicals found in the cotton may have also played a role in the mass fainting.
Last week, in two incidents, more than 100 workers fainted at the Manhattan Cambodia garment factory in Kampong Cham province, forcing its