HƯNG YÊN (VNS) — The 2016 Labour Inspection Campaign was launched yesterday in northern Hưng Yên Province with a focus on construction, the sector which has claimed the most lives of workers in occupational accidents in Việt Nam.

The campaign organised by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), Việt Nam General Confederation of Labour and Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry with support from International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Dutch Government is the second of its kind for the Labour Inspectorate with the first campaign in 2015 targeting the garment sector.

Entitled “Labour law compliance for safe construction sites”, this year’s campaign aimed to promote better compliance of labour standards in the construction sector and to improve working conditions.

Labour inspectors will conduct visits to at least 630 construction enterprises and construction sites across Việt Nam from March to November. 

Targeted compliance areas will include working and rest time, wages, internal occupational safety and health regulations and training, personal protective equipment, arrangement of construction site’s working grounds and the use of vehicles or machines.

According to MoLISA’s occupational safety report for 2015, among reported fatal occupational accidents, the construction sector reported the most deaths. The industry accounted for 37.9 per cent of the 666 people who lost their lives at work and 35 per cent of 629 reported fatal occupational accidents, against 8 per cent and 7 per cent respectively of the second sector in the list – mechanical manufacturing.

MoLISA deputy minister Nguyễn Minh Huân said at the launch that occupational accidents were complicated and were increasing.

“Apart from the responsibilities of both employers and workers, this situation is also traced back to limited dissemination of labour laws and ineffective involvement of the authorities,” he said.

Rene Robert, a specialist in Labour Administration and Labour Inspection from ILO, said that the construction sector typically accounted for the highest number of accidents and fatalities because in addition to being dangerous, it employed a lot of people.

Statistics in 2014 showed that over 3.3 million Vietnamese people worked in construction.

The role of labour inspection is not simply to find and punish violations, he said, adding that its ultimate goal is to improve workplace compliance and a decent and productive workplace.

He called on the Government and social partners to pursue a range of measures to bring about a national preventative safety and health culture including improved legal frameworks for compliance and legal understanding for employees and employers.

Nguyễn Tiến Tùng, Chief of MoLISA’s Inspectorate Department, said that a key goal of inspection was to prevent violations.

He expected that the labour inspection campaign would help halve the number of accidents in construction.

On Sunday, the 18th yearly National Week on Labour Safety and Hygiene - Fire and Explosion Prevention was launched in the northern province of Hưng Yên.

The event aims to call on all businesses, localities and labourers to observe the Law on Labour Safety and Hygiene when it comes into effect from July 1 this year.

Last year, as many as 7,620 work related accidents were reported, resulting in 7,785 injuries, of which 666 resulted in death. The number of accidents and fatalities last year increased by 13.6 per cent and 6.2 per cent, respectively, compared with figures from 2014. — VNS