Cambodian Labour Minister Ith Samheng recently issued guidelines to owners of garment and footwear units in the country to prevent workers from fainting in workplace. The 11 guidelines include operating ventilation fans an hour before workers arrive, installing thermostats, and maintaining fire protection systems and adequately trained boiler operators.

The factory management has to check the environment surrounding the building, both inside and outside the factory, especially before allowing workers to enter, Samheng as saying. The guidelines mandate factories to turn on fans and open all windows and doors in hot weather so that airflow is not restricted at building exits, and make arrangements for infirmary and emergency help in the factory. The Ministry will take strong action against violators, Samheng added. Garment Manufacturers’ Association in Cambodia Deputy Secretary General Kaing Monika, however, said half of the fainting issues studied, based on a National Social Security Fund report, were the result of mass psychological illness, including personal stress coming from family issues, panic and mass hysteria.