Ensuring labor safety in high risk industries

15:55 | 02/12/2013 Economy- Society

(VEN) - Construction, mineral exploitation, chemical and electricity are considered as high risk industries in terms of labor accidents and occupational diseases, and account for over 60 percent of total serious labor accident cases. To tackle this problem, Vietnam is actively coordinating with international organizations to carry out projects on ensuring labor safety in these industries.

To reduce labor accidents, the most important thing is the self-control of enterprises and inpiduals

Analyzing reasons

Although the frequency of labor accidents in high-risk industries have recently tended to decline, with the construction sector fell 8.89 percent, and mining down 5.54 percent electricity use down by 6.84 percent, the number of labor accidents and occupational diseases in these industries still accounted for a quite high proportion in total labor accident cases (over 60 percent). In 2013, many unfortunate incidents happened like the scaffolding collapse at Song Tranh Bridge claiming three lives (Ninh Giang District, Hai Duong Province) or the quarry landslide in Tan Ky Nghe An killing two people.

According to Director of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs' Labor Safety Department Ha Tat Thang, causes leading to occupational accidents in these industries are always beyond objective factors such as extreme weather conditions: rain, storms, heat, flooding but mainly because employers have not paid adequate attention to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and fire prevention. In other words, the laborers have not got the sense to protect yourselves from the risks and accidents.

In addition, inspections and checks on OSH have not met the requirements. Tackling violations on OHS have not been serious and strict enough, resulting in popular violations in this field.

Participation of international organizations

Before this situation, Vietnam is actively coordinating with international organizations to carry out projects to guarantee labor safety in these industries. One typical example was the signing of the project “OHS in high-risk industries in Vietnam” between the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs and the International Labor Organization (ILO) with a funding of US$720,000 of the Japanese Government. This project is implemented from 2012-2014, focusing on two specific objectives: enhancing enforcement of OSH standards in the high -risk industry and limiting, preventing risks and hazards caused by asbestos and toxic and other chemicals to the laborers’ health based on the coordination with the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization.

Beneficiaries of the project will be OHS staff, employees, employers and especially small and medium-sized enterprises and the informal and rural economic sectors in five provinces ( Bac Kan, Hai Phong, Ha Tinh, Quang Ngai and Dong Nai).

Another example was the “training cooperation project to improve coal production capacity” sponsored by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) for the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin). This project was aimed at improving coal production management and processing capability for the Vietnamese workers and technical staff.

Karashima Hiroshi from the Japan Mining Safety and Health Association said the most important thing is the self-control of the units and inpiduals. In particular, in the ining mindustry, instead of observing regulations and organizing training courses on labor safety, it would be more effective if mine owners take measures to control risks to get rid of mining accidents. Specifically, they can conduct investigation of the status of the mine, figure out the unsafe risks and offer solutions to cope with possible incidents./.

By Quynh Nga

Theo ven.vn