Occupational Safety and Health

ILO Viet Nam Director's Speech in Vung Tau for National Week on Occupational Safety and Health

Mr Gyorgy Sziraczki, Director, ILO Country Office for Viet Nam National Week on Occupational Safety and Health, Vung Tau, 15 March 2015

Statement | Hanoi, Viet Nam | 15 March 2015
Mr Nguyen Van Trinh, Chairman of People’s Committee of Ba Ria –Vung Tau

Mr Dang Ngoc Tung, President of Vietnam General Confederation of Labor

Mr Doan Mau Diep, Deputy Minister of MOLISA

Distinguished guests and participants

Ladies and Gentlemen

Today, we put the spotlight on the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases.

Safety and health at work is a fundamental human right and a necessary condition for inclusive development. Yet, work claims more victims around the globe than war does. An estimated 2.3 million workers die every year from occupational accidents and diseases. In addition, many millions of workers suffer from non-fatal injuries and illnesses. This represent an enormous social and economic burden on enterprises, communities and countries, not to mention the human toll and financial problems for workers and their families.

Most of the workplace accidents and diseases are preventable. Prevention is more effective and less costly than treatment and rehabilitation.

Building a culture of prevention in occupational safety and health should be an integral part of developing relevant legislations, policies and strategies. Improving data collection and analysis on workplace risks and hazards; strengthening dialogue and partnership between the Government, employers and workers; and raising awareness on safety and health issues at work are all equally critical.

Viet Nam has made remarkable progress in improving safety and health at work and promoting a culture of prevention. You ratified relevant ILO conventions and put in place national programmes on occupational safety and health. Most recently, MoLISA and the National Assembly have been preparing a draft Law on Occupational Safety and Health, which will promote a preventive culture and extend protection to the informal economy. The ILO welcomes this development.

Clearly, Viet Nam gives work safety a top priority in its national agenda. By doing so, Viet Nam shows itself as a leading example in the region to make workplaces safer and sends out a strong signal to the world that made-in-Viet Nam products are produced in decent working conditions. This will result in better trades and competitiveness for Vietnamese enterprises and more and safer jobs for Vietnamese workers.

Looking ahead, the implementation of the Law on Occupational Safety and Health will be a major task. To do so, we must also reach out to families, communities, and schools where our greatest asset, young people, live, learn and prepare for work. Young workers should enter the labour market with better understanding of occupational risks and adequate skills to protect themselves. This is key to a preventive safety and health culture.

Within the framework of our ongoing and upcoming programmes, the ILO stands ready to support Viet Nam in improving workplace safety and promoting preventive culture.

Thank you! And wish you good health.