(VOV) - Despite an 18 percent drop in overall workplace accidents, the number of occupational fatalities increased by 9.27 percent, from 550 deaths in 2009 to 601 in 2010.
These statistics were released on March 20 at a ceremony held at the Dung Quat Economic Zone in Quang Ngai province to launch the 13th National Week for Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) and Fire and Explosion Prevention under the theme ‘Occupational safety for every family’s happiness and sustainable corporate development’.
According to reports from 63 provinces and cities across the nation, 5,125 occupational accidents occurred in 2010, less than 6,250 in 2009.
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs reported that the mining and construction industries accounted for 47 percent of the total occupational accidents.
These accidents are ascribed to employers who did not give their workers proper safety training or equipment, and to employees who failed to comply with safety regulations and use protective gear in the right way.
State agencies are also to blame for not introducing sufficient or strict sanctions against OSH violations.
In the face of these dangers, the national labour watchdog has proposed several solutions to minimize workplace accidents such as promoting information and legal knowledge about the issue, stepping up training and boosting the OSH management system. The ministry also wants to strengthen inspections and deal strictly with OSH violations.
Minister for Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said at the ceremony that in 2010, the government approved a National Programme on OSH and Fire and Explosion Prevention for the 2011-2015 period.
Ngan’s deputy, Bui Hong Linh, called on businesses, workers and every family to recognize the long-term benefits of ensuring OSH, and to contribute to this National Programme.
Helmut Ehnes, Secretary General of the International Social Security Association, told VOV’s reporter that activities like this have proved effective and helped to improve public awareness of OSH.
Ehnes, however, stressed that there is a lot to do in future because of the increasing number of factories and businesses in Vietnam.