Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Weather, poor ventilation blamed for mass fainting at bag production facility

Weather, poor ventilation blamed for mass fainting at bag production facility

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The 81 workers who had fainted were sent to Ang Roka Referral Hospital for treatment. CNC

Weather, poor ventilation blamed for mass fainting at bag production facility

Hot weather and poor working conditions caused mass fainting among factory workers in a bag production facility in Takeo province on February 8, according to officials.

Deputy provincial governor Ly Saveth told The Post that upon discovery at midday, workers at Hathor International (Cambodia) in Chom Pol village of Tram Kak district’s Popel commune were assisted by a team of people including the medical team of the Ang Roka Referral Hospital, the provincial National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and the local authorities.

The 81 workers who had fainted were sent to Ang Roka Referral Hospital for treatment.

Saveth said that in his visit to the factory after the incident, palettes of finished product were found to be blocking the entrance of the building, causing a disruption in air circulation and hot air to be trapped in the middle of the facility – the likely cause of the mass fainting spell.

Several fans were also found to be damaged.

“This is preliminary information that is being investigated by the factory and we are asking for more information and inspections,” he said.

Nonetheless, he cited the early summer weather this year as causing additional problems for factory workers.

“Usually we start the inspection in late February or early March because every year, most of the workers faint in March, April and May, which are the hot months,” he said.

According to Saveth, the Committee of Teamwork for Prevention of Workers’ Faintness and Work Injury (TPWFWI) arrived at the factory at around 2:30 pm to review and make additional recommendations to the management in order to avoid more such mass fainting episodes.

Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, suggested that the problem of workers fainting is recurring as a direct result of factory owners’ negligence.

“It could be because our inspectors are lax, while some companies and factories do not follow the law, which neglects workers and downplays risks,” he said.

Thorn urged professional institutions to strengthen and step up their inspections of factories.

He noted that frequent fainting spells may cause long-term damage to workers’ health.

Thorn also warned companies that such incidences could be harmful to their reputation, and may lead customers to reconsider purchases or stage boycotts.

Mass fainting is a regular phenomenon in Cambodian factories. According to a report by TPWFWI, there were three incidences of mass fainting in 2021 involving 38 factory workers. Each of these cases followed a pattern of one or two workers initially fainting, leading to a cascading series of workers fainting one after another.

In their report, TPWFWI identified heat exhaustion and working overtime as being the main causes of fainting among factory workers.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Angkor photo rules clarified

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) denied that it had banned the use of camera tripods in the Angkor Archaeological Park, explaining that the confusion stemmed from a long-standing rule which required commercial photographers and videographers to apply for permission to film. The explanation followed a

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At