Puma blames long hours for mass Cambodia faint

12:04 | 19/06/2011
German sportswear giant Puma said long working hours and health and safety breaches were to blame for a mass fainting at one of its suppliers in Cambodia in April.

An independent investigation found that a failure to follow the company's labour standards caused 101 employees to become unwell at the Huey Chuen factory in Phnom Penh on April 9 and 10, Puma said in a statement dated June 16 and seen by AFP on Saturday.

"The breaches of these standards include excessive hours of work as well as multiple occupational health and safety violations," it said, without detailing the nature of the violations.

Puma said it took the findings "very seriously" and promised to educate workers and supervisors about improving working conditions at the factory, which makes footwear for the brand.

While rare, mass faintings occasionally happen in Cambodian garment factories and are often blamed on employees' poor health and bad ventilation in the workplace.

Earlier this week, more than 200 workers needed medical treatment after falling ill at a textile factory in Phnom Penh.

The garment industry is a key source of foreign income for Cambodia and employs more than 300,000 workers, mostly women.


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