Dung Tri Phung

Project title: The Patterns of At Work Injuries in Community in Vietnam

Degree: MPH | Program: Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) | Project type: Thesis/Dissertation
Completed in: 2006 | Faculty advisor: Matthew C. Keifer


Vietnam, a developing country, work-related injuries have steadily been increasing since 1995. Occupational now is recognized as a significant public health problem. However, there is no integrated data system that can thoroughly describe the situation of work-related injuries in Vietnam today.

Using the data set collected by the cross sectional household- injury-survey implemented by Vietnam MOH in 2004 and 2005, information related to at work injuries of over 20,000 households comprising 86,038 individuals from 80 communes of 4 provinces of Northern, Central and Southern areas in Vietnam were analyzed. The purpose of this study were to characterize the patterns of at work injuries in community in Vietnam and to determine whether injuries among free (self-employed) and handicraft workers have higher rate and more severe than that among official (company contracted) workers.

The overall annual incidence rate of at work injuries in Vietnam was 7.01/1,000 person-year. The highest rate was found in Northern areas (13.72/1,000). The rate of work-related injury among males was higher than that among females for all age groups, and rates remained high from the 20 year-old age group and up but decreased again for people above 60 years of age. The risk for persons reporting daily alcohol consumption was nearly four times higher than for non-reporters of alcohol consumption (RR=3.65, p<0.01). The highest burden of at work injuries in Vietnam was in the farmers, followed by industrial workers. Mechanical forces such as cutting by sharp glass and knife, exposing to falling objects were the most common mechanism (32.6% and 13.2%), following by falls (11.6% and 14%). The majority of work injuries occurred in the late morning (10-12h00am; 63%). Minor injuries were commonly reported among work-related injuries (35.9%-61.8%). Nearly half of injured persons self-treated and did not receive any formal care from medical technicians, and the most common choice for medical care was district hospitals. Among self-employed industrial workers, free/handicraft workers had 26% higher rate of injuries compared to contracted workers; however, this difference was not statistically significant.

This data available for this secondary analysis had some limitations such as insufficient information of occupations, recall bias and information bias, short periods of time, inconsistency of questionnaires. The data were subject to recall bias and information bias. However, work injuries are demonstrated by this analysis to be a substantial burden in Vietnam, and the results of this study provided preliminary information that can be used to better understand work injuries in Vietnam and to expand on current occupational safety activities.