A prominent road safety expert called for the provision of proper and safer means of transport for factory workers as it could prevent and reduce traffic accidents across the country in the long term.
Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP) country director Kim Pagna made the call on October 1 during a consultation forum to discuss the possibility of changing transportation means for factory workers to safer modes.
Pagna said that during working days from Monday to Saturday, tens of thousands of factory workers commute in trucks originally manufactured for transporting cargos.
“With the participation and efforts of different stakeholders, especially the government, in solving worker transport issue, we have seen that the use of cargo trucks to transport workers has decreased. However, the number of such trucks remain high,” he said.
According to a recent report from the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), in 2019 up to 60 per cent of vehicles used to transport factory workers were trucks designed for transporting cargos.
Pagna said providing proper transportation service for workers helps ensure their safety and also corresponds to road traffic law.
“I believe that no employers will be happy and proud if after so many years of business growth they still see their workers travel in overcrowded trucks designed for cargo transportation,” Pagna said.
Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of state Min Manavy, who also attended the consultation forum, supported the idea of providing safer means of transport for workers.
“The change to safer modes would bring benefits to all parties because the government and NSSF are now carrying a heavy burden in addressing problems associated with the livelihood of workers who suffer from traffic accidents,” she said.
Manavy said traffic accidents remain a concern for the general public. As of June this year, there were a total of 1,261 cases of traffic accidents, leaving 709 people dead and another 1,792 injured.
“Among the 1,261 cases, six involved workers, with 276 of them injured but no death. But sadly in the second semester of this year, three workers died from traffic accidents,” she said.