Accidents on the rise at construction sites in HCM City

Lack of safety regulations is the main cause of workplace accidents in Ho Chi Minh City which has the highest number of work related casualties in Vietnam.

Workers atop a building without safety belts. (Photo:SGGP)

According to the inspector of the HCM City Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, there were 893 cases of accidents at work with 108 deaths in 2010.

In the beginning of 2011, there were 16 cases of fatal accidents at work. Most of the cases occurred at construction sites in the city.

In February 2011, the number of work related accidents increased by 400% compared to the same period last year. However, the numbers were not all recorded as most constructors kept silent about the number of accidents.

On January 13, P.Q.K, an air-conditioning repairman died when an elevator weighed down on his body while he was repairing an air-conditioning system in a company at Cach Mang Thang Tam Street.

On January 15, a crane fell at a construction site on Chu Van An Street in Binh Thanh District, leaving one dead and one seriously injured.

On March 7, a worker at the construction site of The Vista apartment building in District 2 in Ho Chi Minh City died in hospital due to serious head injuries after falling off a scaffold from the third floor.
On March 16, at the construction site of Quoc Cuong Gia Lai II building in Binh Chanh District a worker died after falling off from the 13th floor of the building.

According to some officials from the city Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, construction units and investors do not report accidents to the city authorities. Most investors and construction units deal with accidents by offering compensation directly to the victims’ families.

Investors’ lack of awareness of work safety is very clearly questionable, leading to this sad state of affairs.

At many construction sites, workers do not wear safety work clothing or carry any safety equipment. Some workers said that it is difficult to wear safety work clothing or safety equipment and work at the same time. Many workers at construction sites do not sign contracts with investors. Most of them are seasonal workers, who do not have health insurance. Even workers are unaware of any knowledge about labour safety laws.

Huynh Tan Dung, chief inspector of the city Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs said that to prevent accidents in future, all ministries and businesses need to strengthen the supervision of State regulations on labour safety and hygiene and introduce accident insurance policies.

Construction units and investors should regularly inspect machinery and equipment and improve the working conditions for workers to ensure that they work in a safe environment.

By Ho Thu, translated by Cong Dung

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