It is reported that from January 01, 2003 to June 30, 2004, there were 384 labour accidents of slipping off scaffolding in Hanoi, causing immediate death or permanent injuries. Most accident victims were poor workers.
Vietnam-Germany Friendship Hospital’s departments of trauma orthopaedy and nerve surgery are receiving the most patients related to construction work accidents. From December6to 12, the departments admitted two patients who had fallen off scaffolding. Hoang Vna Luyen, 50 years old and father of the hospital’s patient, said that his son would no longer the family’s bread earner after having his arms and legs amputated. The hospital says that alarmingly increasing patients of construction accidents have been taken for treatment.
Most of the patients are from Hanoi with 54, Ha Tay 50, Bac Giang 34, Thai Binh 32, Bac Ninh 28. Up to 54 patients or 14% said the accident occurred after slipping whilst building family homes. Traditionally, Vietnamese people look to have new houses or renovations done before the New Year holiday. Therefore, supervisors at construction works tend to urge workers to quicken their pace of building. Unsafe working practises, haste, low safety awareness and winter weather conditions all contribute to increasing accidents at the end of the year.
There have been 27-31 cases of construction accidents during the end months of the year compared an average 10-17 during normal moths.
Falling from scaffolding usually results in critical injuries, especially brain injuries with 115 cases reported, limb injuries 258, and back injuries 66. Many seriously wounded patients underwent operations but didn’t survive. Seven deaths were reported, with four dying on the way to hospital.
About 95% of victims are male aged from 17 to 45, with low schooling. Some were illiterate and most of them had no notion about the Labour Law. They would be easily convinced to accept simple compensation from constructors and never thought to claim their cases.
Dr Do Kim Son, director of the hospital calls for responsibility charge on constructors who hired these part time workers and equipped them with poor safety equipment and dangerous working conditions.