In an interview with Kinh Tế & Đô Thị (Economy and City) newspaper, Hà Tất Thắng, director of the Labour Safety Department (Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs) spoke of measures to address working accident risks in the non-official labour sector.
How can the ministry impose safety measures in non-official sectors, including craft villages and home workshops?
Most of the labourers in this sector are self-employed, so we have made this a priority in terms of enhancing safety. The department had recommended that local governments draw up plans of financial assistance and training courses for these labourers. We have suggested forming staff of labour safety and hygiene supervisors at district and commune levels, with the ministry providing trainers on labour safety and hygiene to districts and communes.
The department had also called for participation of relevant agencies, such as the Farmers Asscociations, Co-operative League and trade uinons.
The department will set up national programmes on labour safety and hygiene, as well as mobilising international help for training courses on worker safety and hygiene and the use of labour proection equipment. We have asked businesses that sell labour protection equipment to provide instruction classes.
With the aboved-mentioned activities, we hope labour safety in this sector will gradually be enhanced.
In fact, the non-official labour sector has many workers, but training staff on labour safety and hygiene is very modest. How do you explain that?
This is absolutely true. There is a lack of human and financial resources. Therefore, we should carry out labour safety pratices in some occupations which require strict safety demands, such as operating machines of compressed air, cutting, and rolling, and occupations involving poisonous chemical substances. An estimated three million people work in occupations with strict safety needs.
Could you talk about implementation of policy on work accidents and occupation-related disease insurance?
There are many types of insurance. At present, employers are obliged to provide contract labourers with two types of insurance. This provides employees with medical treatment and financial compensation or subsidies, and training to change jobs. In case of work-related deaths, their families benefit from the compensation.
The Government has assigned the department to implement the insurance schemes in the non-official labour sector where there are no employers. The insurance will be applied in the sector by 2018. Under the plan, workers could be offered financial assistance to change occupations, or medical aid for functional rehabilitation if accidents occur.
Initially, information dissemination is very important to tell self-employed labourers about the benefits of buying the insurances against work accidents and occupation-related disease. — VNS