The 14th National Safety at Work Week will get underway from Mar. 18-24 with the launching ceremony scheduled for Mar. 18 in Bien Hoa Industrial Zone 2 in the southern province of Dong Nai.

At a press briefing in Hanoi on Feb. 21, the Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Bui Hong Linh, said that this year’s event is to raise the responsibility of businesses and employees about safety at work as well as the prevention of accidents and occupational diseases.

During the week, seminars, competitions, training courses and a range of other activities to raise the public’s awareness on the issues will be held in every sector, workplace and business across the country.

In 2011, 5,896 workplace accidents occurred nationwide, causing 574 deaths, 1,314 serious injuries and losses worth 304 billion VND (14.4 million USD).

These figures showed a 4.49 percent drop in the number of deaths in comparison with 2010.

Most of the serious accidents occurred in the mining, construction and engineering industries.

The provinces with the highest accident rates were Ho Chi Minh City , Binh Duong, Hanoi , Dong Nai, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Da Nang , Ha Tinh, Son La and Thai Nguyen.

Meanwhile, Nam Dinh, Binh Phuoc, Ha Giang and Bac Lieu recorded no fatal accidents in 2011. Noteworthy is Bac Lieu, where there have been no fatal accidents for three consecutive years.

Also in 2011, 1,764 fires and 25 explosions took place nationwide, causing 84 deaths, 245 serious injuries and losses of nearly 600 billion VND (44 million USD). Fires also damaged 2,000 ha of forests. - VNA