Work accidents claim 600 lives each year in Vietnam

Thanh Nien News

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 The site of a scaffolding collapse that killed 13 workers and injured 29 others in the central province of Ha Tinh on March 25, 2015. Photo: Le Quan
Around 600 people are killed in work-related accidents every year around the country, but local authorities say they cannot do much to prevent these tragedies due to their limited resources, local media reported on Monday.
Ha Tat Thang, chief of the Department of Labor Safety, was quoted as telling a government conference the same day that with just about 100 inspectors, his agency could check labor safety standards at only 0.22 percent of all businesses.
When accidents happened, Thang said, his agency was in charge of fining violators and if applicable, requesting the police to step in.
About 2 percent of labor accidents, or 12 cases, were put under criminal investigations a year, according to Thang. 
Local media reported that 30 percent of all fatal workplace accidents took place in the construction sector. 
Le Quang, deputy chief of the State Authority for Construction Quality Inspection, said there are many construction companies in Vietnam that hire a large numbers of workers and use a lot of machinery and equipment. 
Many things can possibly go wrong, he said, pointing out main reasons for work-related accidents in construction: failure to pay attention to labor safety, poor quality scaffolding structures and outdated equipment. 
Vietnam recorded 6,709 work-related accidents last year, with the total of 6,941 casualties, including 630 deaths.

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