Workplace accidents on the radar

VietNamNet Bridge – The Work Safety Department of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) has just released the latest figures dealing with work safety across the country.

Workplace accidents, investigation

The data shows a rise in the number of workplace accidents in 2014 compared to the previous year with more cases resulting in death.

Accordingly, there were a total of 6,709 workplace accidents last year, resulting in 630 deaths and 1,544 serious injuries, 14 accident cases more than in 2013 with three more deaths.

According to Ha Tat Thang, head of the Work Safety Department, 72 per cent of fatal workplace accidents were due to employers’ negligence in failing to exercise due care to take measures to ensure labour safety for their employees.

Furthermore, there is a distressing tendency of employers failing to train employees in labour safety, equipping them with adequate personal protective equipment and providing a safe working environment, Thang noted.

Last year, workplace accidents generated VND90.7 billion ($4.2 million) in damages for personal compensation for victims and VND7.76 billion ($362,600) in property losses, according to the relevant MOLISA investigation report.

The fields incurring the largest number of workplace accidents were mining, construction, the power sector and mechanical engineering.

Of the accidents causing serious injury/damage, only two cases had incurred penal procedures.

The first case, caused by fire, took place on January 15, 2014 at a private mining business based in the north-eastern province of Quang Ninh, resulting in six deaths and one serious bodily injury.

The case is currently under investigation to consider the liabilities of relevant individuals.

The second one took place on January 17 at a private trading firm in Ho Chi Minh City, causing three deaths.

The company director incurred penal procedures for violating regulations on ‘occupational safety at crowded areas’ as regulated in Clause 227 of the Penal Code.

Workplace accidents were expected to further increase in the forthcoming time, following the vigorous economic structural transformation from agriculture into industry and construction.

To tackle this conundrum, MOLISA Deputy Minister Doan Mau Diep stated that the draft Law on Occupational Safety, to be submitted at the National Assembly in the upcoming session this May, includes some new points such as the expansion of law coverage to the non-contractual labour segment, which was reported to include about 35 million labourers, and specifying the responsibilities of labourers, employers and trade unions alike.

“We expect the draft will help produce more accurate data about workplace accidents, with which we could work more efficiently in drawing up support policies to labourers,” Diep added.


Workplace accidents, investigation