Thursday, February 23, 2012

More occupational accidents, fewer fatalities

A total of 5,896 occupational accidents, affecting 6,154 workers and killing 574, were reported nationwide, said Ministry representatives at a press conference in Hanoi on February 21.

The conference announced the MoLISA’s plan to hold a National Week of Occupational Safety and Health, and Fire and Explosion Prevention from March 18-24.The theme of this year’s event will be creating a culture of safety and workers’ responsibility for preventing occupational accidents and diseases for their own best interests.The most serious occupational accidents reported were related to mining, construction, mechanics and operating machinery, said Ha That Thang, Head of the Bureau for Safe Work under the MoLISA.

Thang said the number of victims of occupational accidents in 2011 rose by more than 15 percent over the previous year, while fatalities decreased by 2.42 percent.2011 saw several serious occupational accidents including a landslide at a rock mine that claimed the lives of 18 workers and injured six others, and a major fire at a private garment workshop that killed 13 people and severely injured 25 others.

In this year, there were 1,764 fire incidents across the country, killing 75 people and making a total loss of VND600 billion and 2,000 hectares of forest. Nine people were killed and 30 others wounded in 25 explosions.These accidents were attributable to technical problems (40.3 percent) and human error (28.7 percent).

At the press conference, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs Bui Hong Linh highlighted the need to maintain regular occupational safety and health standards and prevent the danger of fires and explosions.He said the upcoming National Week for Occupational Safety and Health, and Fire and Explosion Prevention is aimed at raising public awareness of the issues and urging both workers and businesses to comply with the relevant laws and regulations.