The Flying Dragon Cambodia Garment factory suspended operations Monday after about 45 workers were sent to the hospital after fainting in its compound, a factory worker said Monday.
Chantra Vuth hospital officials said the factory workers lost consciousness because of extremely hot conditions, poor ventilation and chemical substances in the air.
Dr Seng Veng of Chantra Vuth said 21 workers were admitted to his hospital Monday morning after losing consciousness at the factory in Stung Meanchey commune, Meanchey district. Although workers’ health conditions initially declined upon admission, Seng Veng said most showed signs of improvement after receiving an intravenous saline treatment.
Flying Dragon factory representatives were reluctant to say how many workers fainted on Monday.
The factory’s administrative assistant Ouk Sothavy said eight workers had fainted Sunday and another 12 passed out Monday. But one worker said in addition to the 21 workers admitted to Chantra Vuth hospital, 24 more were taken to the Sihanouk Hospital.
Taking workers’ health into consideration, Ouk Sothavy said, “Our factory shut down and allowed the workers to take a holiday. All the workers are getting weak.” She did not say whether production would resume Tuesday morning.
Ouk Sothavy denied that poisonous chemical substances were stored in the factory or were being used by workers. She said workers could have been exhausted from spending too much time Sunday night at a groundbreaking ceremony for nearby Wat Nhet Vongrangsey.
Ouk Sothavy confirmed that workers were sent to the Sihanouk and Chantra Vuth hospitals and added that the factory owner would pay for all medical fees resulting from the fainting spells.
This is not the first time fainting workers have disrupted factory production in Cambodia. Almost 170 employees of the Winner Knitting Factory in Kandal province fainted in 1999 after the production room was filled with new chemically treated fabric.