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Workshop on "Strengthening Occupational Safety and Health management system in high - risk industries"

18/03/2013

The workshop was held in 2 days 14th – 15th March, 2013 in Hanoi by the Department of Labour Safety (Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs) in cooperation with the International Social Security Association (ISSA-Mining) and International Labour Organization (ILO).








      Attending the workshop were Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) Mr. Bui Hong Linh, Mr. Theodor Bulhoff – President of the ISSA Mining, Mr. Fernando Urutia President - Ambassador of Chile, Mr. Gyorgy Sziraczki - National Director of the ILO Office in Vietnam, the representative leaders and staff of the Department of Labour Safety, relevant agencies, ministries and branches, international organizations and the ASEAN – OSHNET member countries.
 
     Delivering opening speech at the workshop, Deputy Minister Bui Hong Linh said that: currently, occupational safety and health (OSH) is emerging as a global challenge as well as to Vietnam with the severity of injuries, occupational diseases, occupational fatality and negative impacts on the socio-economic development. Therefore, OSH is always a socio-economic policy prioritized by the Vietnamese Party and State in the strategy of protection and development of human resource, sustainable socio-economic development of the country. The National OSH program in period of 2011-2015 offered mechanisms, solutions to implement the goal of reduction of occupational accidents and occupational diseases. The objectives and targets of the program have also been assigned to each ministry and branch for implementation, mainly focused on the sectors at high risk of occupational accidents, occupational diseases, work place pollution and implemented in time frames. The program raised funds from the State budget, localities, businesses and international donors. The funds show the socialization and integration of OSH.
 
     The Deputy Minister highly appreciated the international organizations such as the ILO Organization, ISSA Mining, Japan, Germany and ASEAN-OSHNET member countries… have supported Vietnam many programs, projects on OSH, contributing to the promotion of OSH in Vietnam. The Deputy Minister also stated that the participation of representatives of member countries, international organizations and Vietnam in this workshop is to show interest in promoting the implementation and development of OSH. He hoped that with the efforts, OSH will be more effectively implemented and further developed.
 
     Mr. Theodor Bulhoff - President of ISSA Mining said: "OSH management in high-risk industries is very important and it is not the first time to be discussed in the workshop. This is a great opportunity for our colleagues to exchange international experience and Vietnam can learn experience from other countries in the region to promote the OSH system in the high - risk industries while the OSH Law is being drafted".
 
    Ms Do Thi Thuy Nguyet – Deputy Director of the Labour Safety Department briefly described OSH system in high-risk industries in Vietnam. Accordingly, the construction, mining and chemical industries were considered to be at high risk of occupational accidents and occupational diseases. The number of occupational accidents in these industries accounted for over 60% of the total number of serious occupational accidents in the country.

    Specifically, according to the statistics of the MOLISA in recent years, the number of occupational accidents happened in the mining industry was at high rate from about 18% to 20% of the total cases. Besides, the number of people with occupational diseases in the quarrying industry also took high proportion of the current total cases in Vietnam (about 5% - 6%), of which were mainly silica lung disease
, noise related deafness disease.
 
    Occupational accidents and occupational diseases occurred in the construction sector are also on the rise: According to incomplete statistics, in 2000, there were 196 cases of which 52 people were died; in 2011, the number of accidents increased by 502 cases of which 117 people lost their lives and 118 people injured. 41% of the total number of employees working in the construction sector was unhealthy to work in the sector.
 
     The situation of occupational accidents, occupational diseases, contamination in production and use of chemicals were also very severe. The Vietnam National Chemical Group with its 40 units, in 5 years (2008 - 2012) had 157 occupational accidents of which 14 people were died. Up to now, the Vietnam National Chemical Group has had 129 people with occupational diseases.
 
     According to the National Director of the ILO Office in Vietnam Mr. Gyorgy Sziraczki, every 15 seconds, in the world, there is a worker died from occupational accidents or occupational diseases. And every 15 seconds, 160 workers catch accident while working.

     The workers died from occupational accidents and occupational diseases is huge. As estimated, the economic burden due to the uncertainty of occupational safety and health in the workplace is equivalent to 4% of the global GDP each year. "Because the majority of occupational accidents caused by people the awareness on occupational safety and health should be enhanced on a larger scale not only in workplaces. We need to reach out to each family, community and school where our most valuable property - young people - are learning and preparing to enter the labour market" he said.
 
    The representative of the ASEAN-OSHNET Secretariats aid:"At present, OSH management in the high-risk industries is a major concern of us and many countries around the world. We have been trying to do morere search to come up with a more comprehensive view on OSH from mining industry to processing production industry. Currently, we are trying to implement the innovative, strategic action programs to promote OSH system and further improve working conditions in member countries as well as participate in the enhancement of occupational safety around the world”
  
     At the workshop, participants alsofocused on discussing andhearing about problems shared by many domestic and foreign agencies such as the ISSA's new guidelines on prevention in socialsystems; legal framework on OSH in the high-risk industries; experiences of the Philippines; mining industry in India and practices of safety and health; standards, regulations and national policy on chemical safety in Indonesia; standards, regulations and national policy on chemical safety in Malaysia; application of German training methods in occupational safety training courses in the Vietnam National Coal, Mineral Industries Holding Cooperation Limited (Vinacomin) to enhance OSH system; legal framework on OSH in hazardous industries and OSH legislation in Singapore...

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