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Factory Worker at H&M Supplier Killed by Exploding Machine

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A factory worker at a finishing facility in Phnom Penh, Cambodia that supplies clothing to H&M was killed when shrapnel from a machine that exploded struck him in the head.

According to the Phnom Penh Post, 35-year-old Chea Saroeun died at C Square Garment Finishing Co Ltd in the capital’s Russey Keo district Friday when a machine that grinds wood to power a furnace for steam washing garments flew apart sending pieces in the air and dealing him a fatal blow to the right side of the head.

Cambodia’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF) offered the victim’s family 4 million riel ($973) for funeral costs, but according to the Post, “The death of the victim is a serious burden for his wife, who now has to raise two children and care for her late husband’s elderly mother.”

NSSF said it would pay the family a monthly sum based on Saroeun’s salary until the children are between ages 18 and 21 and then the provided aid could be reassessed.

But Joel Preston, a consultant for Cambodia’s Community Legal Education Center said often times, NSSF does not follow through on its promised payments to victims of workplace accidents.

“[H&M’s] responsibility is to make sure the law is followed,” Preston told the Post.

The Swedish fast fashion giant has not yet commented on the incident.

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