Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fainting workers blame fumes

Fainting workers blame fumes

Fainting workers blame fumes

Almost 150 garment factory workers from two Phnom Penh factories fainted late last week after inhaling toxic fumes used to treat clothes, workers and union leaders said yesterday.

The mass faintings came as the Clean Clothes Campaign and Community Legal Education Center released an evaluation report on garment factory watchdog Better Factories Cambodia, highlighting the poor occupational health and safety standards that plague the industry.

Free Trade Union official Oum Lina said more than 100 workers from Hi Fashion in the capital’s Sen Sok district were rushed to state hospitals and private clinics on Friday.

She said the workers fainted three times throughout the day before they were whisked away for medical treatment.

An employee at Hi Fashion, who declined to be named, said that when she went to work on Saturday, about 50 employees fainted again.

“The environment in the factory is stuffy, hot and there is a very bad smell emitting from the clothes.”

The worker said she had alerted management to the toxic vapours days earlier, but her concerns were ignored.

Meanwhile, 36 workers at Conpress Holding Industrial in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district fainted on Thursday and Friday.

“There are several reasons for the faintings – inadequate ventilation, noxious chemicals, malnutrition, long working days,” said Better Factories Cambodia technical adviser Jill Tucker.

“The unions and GMAC and employers are all in agreement that there needs to be food provision in the factories as there are in many other countries.”

Heng Virak, Hi Fashion administrative manager, said poor ventilation had caused the workers to lose consciousness, but the company would improve the workplace with fans.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mom Kunthear and Claire Knox at [email protected]


  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group