Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Workplace injury rate rises

Workplace injury rate rises

Workplace injury rate rises


Garment factory workers cram into the back of a transport truck at the end of a day’s work in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district last month. Photograph: Will Baxter/Phnom Penh Post

A spike in factory faintings contributed to a 65 per cent increase in the number of workplace injuries reported in 2011, a Ministry of Labour official said yesterday.

Leng Tong, director of the occupational health and safety department, said the ministry plans to introduce specialist safety committees in response to the 47 deaths and the more than 12,000 injuries that occurred in workplaces last year.

Although Tong could not provide a detailed breakdown of prevalent workplace injuries, he said faintings and traffic accidents involving commuting workers were widespread.

“We want to prevent labour injuries,” he said. “We know fainting is still increasing, as are traffic accidents – we’re worried.”

Tong said Cambodia had invited officials from Malaysia to train about 50 labour representatives over the next two weeks.

“The ministry has a master plan to create health and safety committees in each [workplace] as soon as possible.”

Yesterday’s announcement came as Better Factories Cambodia [BFC] launched its One Change Campaign, which encourages garment factories to take action to minimise mass fainting incidents. The program lists a number of recommendations and encourages factories to implement at least one of them.

They include training managers in first aid, providing subsidised meals to workers, increasing workers’ breaks, implementing anonymous grievance systems and improving transport for workers.

The campaign also recommends factories provide clean water, soap in bathrooms and proper ventilation – rights preserved under the Labour Law but often ignored.

BFC chief technical adviser Jill Tucker said the recommendations were designed to target causes of fainting such as poor nutrition.

According to the Ministry of Health, 16 incidents of fainting occurred between November 1 and April 30, but BFC consultant Maeve Galvin said the actual figures were much higher.

“[Faintings are] happening in factories all the time,” she said. “We’re not going to get all of that from the data.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Sen David at [email protected]
Shane Worrell at [email protected]


  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • 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

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh