The Government has earmarked 730 billion VND (36.5 million USD) for a national programme that seeks to reduce fatal workplace accidents by at least 5 percent a year.

The five-year programme, to begin next year, targets sectors with a high incidence of workplace accidents, like mining, construction, electricity, and metal and chemical production.

It also seeks to diagnose and treat more workers with occupational diseases and ensure an additional 2,000 small and medium-sized enterprises adopt workplace safety regulations every year.

Safety training courses will be provided for 40,000 workers in sectors requiring strict adherence to safety regulations and a further 10,000 who work in toxic and dangerous environments.

The programme will help train 40,000 safety officials and provide consultancy and technical assistance to improve working conditions and reduce accidents at small and medium-sized firms.

Workplace accidents have been an increasing concern in the country in recent times.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, there were 2,611 workplace accidents in the first six months.

Last year there were more than 6,000 accidents which killed 550 workers and seriously injured 1,221 others./.