Dozens More Workers Faint in Three Factories

Continuing a week of mass factory faintings, more than 90 workers collapsed in three factories in Phnom Penh, Takeo and Kandal on Wednesday, bringing the total number of faintings to 274 in the past three days, officials said.

At around 2:30 p.m., 68 workers at the Vonammy garment factory in Takeo province’s Bati district fainted after their lunch break, according to district governor Lay Sokha.

“The workers started vomiting and fainted one by one,” Mr. Sokha said. “We don’t know what caused this fainting.”

Cheav Bunrith, spokesman for the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), said the sickened workers had eaten tainted food.

“The reason is that some workers bought small shrimp paste to eat for lunch…which caused them to faint,” he said.

In a separate case, 19 workers fainted in the Quint Major Industrial factory in Kandal’s Ang Snuol district at about 9:00 a.m., the third day in a row that the factory has had workers collapse. A total of 89 women fainted there on Monday and Tuesday.

Seang Sokun, a union leader at the factory, said the faintings were due to fear and poor health.

Mr. Bunrith at the NSSF said it was “normal” for mass faintings at factories to repeatedly occur over a number of days.

“It’s normal,” he said. “Technically, if a factory has an incident of fainting, more will occur during the following days in smaller numbers.”

To avoid further faintings, the NSSF sent a report to Quint Major on Tuesday suggesting it turn on its ventilation system 30 minutes before the workers begin their shifts.

In a third case , three workers fainted in the M&V International Manufacturing factory in Phnom Penh, said Nuon Sam Ol, a Free Trade Union representative.

“The workers who fainted had sugar and calcium levels below normal,” she said.

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