Measures needed to reduce work-related accidents

Compliance with occupational safety and hygiene regulations remains lax, affecting the lives of workers and their families, an official from the HCM City Federation of Labour said at a conference held on September 11.

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Workers use protective equipment to ensure labour safety and hygiene at a workplace
Nguyen Thanh Do, head of the Policy Department under the HCM City Federation of Labour, said many policies and measures had contributed effectively to reducing labour accidents and occupational diseases.

“However, the number of work-related accidents is still high in the country,” he said.

Representatives of labour federations of Hanoi, Da Nang, Hai Phong, Can Tho and HCM City attended the conference which discussed solutions to limit work-related accidents and occupational diseases.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs' occupational safety report for 2018, nearly 8,000 work-related accidents were reported last year, killing 1,039 and injuring more than 8,200.

The main cause of occupational accidents was lack of compliance with regulations on occupational safety and hygiene of businesses and workers, accounting for 46 percent of incidents.

A majority of employers failed to create safe working procedures, did not provide training on labour safety, and did not guarantee the quality of protective equipment and workers' working condition.

Violations of occupational safety and hygiene regulations and work safety procedures were accounted for more than 18 percent of the incidents. Another 35 percent of incidents were caused by other reasons.

Ta Van Duong of Hanoi’s Labour Federation said that inspection, examination and preventive measures must be carried out thoroughly at businesses.

“The most important element in raising awareness of employers and workers is observation of occupational safety and hygiene regulations,” said Nguyen Van Tuan, President of the HCM City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority’s Trade Union.

Trade unions and businesses need to work with other units to build a network of businesses that can learn from each other about labour safety, he said.

Dinh Thi Thanh Ha, Vice President of Da Nang city’s Labour Federation, said that work-related accidents usually occurred at construction sites, mostly small construction projects or works built by subcontractors, creating difficulties for control and inspection.

Foreign-invested companies and local enterprises in industrial parks and export processing zones have the highest level of awareness about labour safety and hygiene regulations.

“They are always concerned about human factors and regular maintenance of equipment and machinery, so the number of labour accidents has significantly reduced,” she said.

She said that ministries, departments and agencies should try to improve the legal system regulating labour safety and other regulations in various fields, increase inspections of occupational safety and hygiene regulations, and strengthen the handling of violations of labour safety.

In addition, changing the minimum allowance required for occupational safety and hygiene standards in hazardous or dangerous jobs should be considered, she added.

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