Recent instances of group faintings in Cambodian garment factories are to be investigated following a meeting of the International Labour Organisation’s Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) programme with international clothing brands.

The brands supplied by Cambodia have agreed with BFC officials to support a “comprehensive” investigation into the faintings, following the Better Factories Cambodia Buyers’ Forum in Phnom Penh this week.

The collaborative commitment will support and resource technical research to look into the cause of the faintings, BFC said.

It added that, out of about 300 exporting garment factories in Cambodia, there had been about 10 reported incidents of fainting in 2011 so far.

The organisation has also announced the launch of a joint investigation with fashion retailer H&M into reports of faintings at two of its supplying factories, with the aim of introducing an improvement plan.

“BFC welcomes the commitment from brands for a new joint initiative,” said BFC chief technical advisor Tuomo Poutiainen.

“More research is urgently needed to identify possible new causes that will explain the fainting phenomenon, as well as eliminate ones we know about, in areas such as occupational safety, health and nutrition.”