Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) takes occupational safety seriously as part of projects sourced from Japan’s official development assistance, stated Fujita Yasuo, Chief Representative of JICA Vietnam Office.

He made the point at a labour safety conference, co-organised by JICA and the Ministry of Construction in Hanoi on May 25. The conference aimed to disseminate labour policies and regulations for individuals and organisations operating in the construction sector.

JICA has issued a number of guiding materials on the matter, said Fujita Yasuo, revealing that many of them were updated after the Can Tho bridge accident. The bridge collapsed during construction in 2007, killing and injuring dozens of people.

In 2016, six accidents took place in projects funded by Japan’s ODA.

He noted JICA is working to minimise the figure and urged contractors to tighten their monitoring of construction equipment and workers.

The Ministry of Construction has received significant assistance from JICA when drafting new policies for occupational health and safety, Nguyen Minh Ha, head of the State Authority for Construction Quality Inspection, said.

He stressed the remarkable changes in policy makers’ mindset about the work, as reflected in the fact that recent policies have focused on precautions against accidents and ensuring workers’ rights in line with national law and conventions of  the International Labour Organisation to which Vietnam is a member.

According to Associate Professor Tran Chung from the Vietnam union of construction, despite strengthened legal foundation, occupational accidents are still on the rise, particularly at construction sites of high-rises.

He recommended intensifying large-scale communications campaigns on labour safety.-VNA