National Assembly Deputy Bui Si Loi, Deputy Chairman of the Committee of Social Affairs, has spoken with Vietnamplus about the draft law on Labour Safety and Hygiene.

Loi said occupational accidents have become complicated in recent years and are an alarming issue, shown by the more than 600 deaths annually, ranking second behind fatalities caused by traffic accidents.

However, reports from the health sector said that deaths from work accidents were three times higher than that – about 1,700 deaths annually.

However, he said, the current Labour Code covers just 17 million workers out of the 54 million. The remaining 37 million workers have no labour contracts, including 24 million living in rural and agricultural areas. This means they are not protected by the law.

“The new law will give us a chance to provide a safe working environment for all workers. This also fits the spirit of the 2013 Constitution's Article 35,’ he affirmed.

A new regulation on the draft law on Labour Safety and Hygiene stipulates that labourers who have no labour contracts and apply for jobs requiring strict labour safety and hygiene must be trained about labour safety and hygiene, he said.

The NA deputy said it's obvious that the State must allocate a fund to train non-contract workers about labour safety and hygiene. This regulation might not be effective immediately, but it would assure safety for this group of workers.

It is necessary to strengthen inspections on labourers as the current 487 inspectors can hardly cover 54 million workers, 500,000 enterprises and other private businesses, he said.

It means that between 800 and 1,000 inspectors need to be hired to conduct the task and the Government must allocate more funds to pay them.

However, it is not about the number of inspectors, it is about professional skills to solve the problem, he said, adding the NA's Committee for Social Affairs will submit the initiative to the NA Standing Committee and collect opinions from NA deputies.-VNA