HA NOI (VNS)— The progress in inspecting work accidents, especially fatalities, is slower than expected, stated the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA)' Bureau for Safe Work's head Ha Tat Thang.
According to MOLISA, out of the total number of over 560 fatal work accidents that occurred last year, only 175 have been properly investigated and officially reported to the ministry.
Thang pointed out that many work accidents occurred during the process of mineral exploitation in projects conducted by private companies or by the people for civil use. These cases have so far not yet been investigated and included in statistics and reports.
He noted that many localities failed to submit a report analysing the figures of work accidents by the types of enterprises and the categories of professions, or failed to provide an adequate, full report as required.
The reports were also sent very late, he remarked.
Most notably, the percentage of enterprises sending reports to the local Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs was still low, he added.
"During 2013, only 19,818 companies, or about 5.3 per cent of the total number of companies nationwide, sent reports [on work accidents], thereby making it difficult for us to review the comprehensive situation of work accidents nationwide." Thang emphasized.
According to Thang, excluding serious accidents that are being investigated, only three cases of accidents [which occurred last year] have been submitted to the People's Procuracy for criminal prosecution. All the three cases are of fatal nature.
While shedding light on the problem, Thang claimed that the key reason was that the number of inspectors for work accidents was still very limited, which made it impossible to cover all the companies in order to ensure occupational safety.
"Just over 460 inspectors are working, while more than 700,000 companies are operating," he pointed out, sharing that except in HCM City and Ha Noi, each locality has only 2-3 labour inspectors.
In response to the slow progress, MOLISA has requested the Ministry of Public Security and the Supreme People's Procuracy to call on all the relevant underlying agencies to step up co-operation in the investigation and processing of work accidents.
The Ministry stated that stronger co-operation was necessary so that the victims of work accidents can be offered timely compensation and violations in labour safety can be dealt with appropriate punitive measures.
According to MOLISA, last year saw approximately 6,700 work accidents, an increase of 82 reported cases against 2012. Yet, over 560 cases resulted in deaths, an increase of 10 cases against the previous year.
During March 16-22, Viet Nam will organise a national week for work safety and hygiene and fire prevention campaign, where activities to raise public awareness on the issue will be conducted, while inspections will be stepped up. — VNS