A ceremony to launch the 13th National Week of Labor, Hygiene, Safety and Fire Prevention 2011 was held at the Dung Quat Economic Zone in the central province of Quang Ngai on March 20.
The ceremony with the theme “Safety and Health at the workplace – the basic right of laborers” was held by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the People’s Committee of Quang Ngai Province.
This year’s national week focuses on labor safety which is essential in the long term for the prosperity of every household and for the sustainable development of businesses.
It is the duty of businesses and society as a whole to implement and ensure safety, hygiene and fire prevention for workers as well as actively contributing to the realization of the National Target on Labor Safety, Hygiene and Fire Prevention for the 2011-2015 periods.
According to Bui Hong Linh, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, there were 5,125 workplace accidents resulting in 601 deaths last year.
He added that the number of accidents fell by 18 percent compared to 2009 but the death toll rose by 9.27 percent.
Workplace accidents were most common in industrial zones in the mining, construction, power, metal and chemical production areas. Accidents at work in 2010 caused a total loss of VND137.5 billion (US$6.8 million).
In 2010, there were 2,260 cases of fire, an increase of 14 percent compared to last year. Of these, 1,883 cases occurred in private residences and 388 were forest fires, causing 74 deaths and 246 injury cases. Fire cases result in an average loss of VND618 billion ($31 million).
To prevent accidents in the future, all ministries and businesses need to strengthen supervision of State regulations on labor safety and hygiene and introduce accident insurance policies.
Businesses should regularly inspect machinery and equipment and improve the working conditions for workers to ensure that they work in a safe environment.