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The work-related burden of injury in a rapidly industrializing commune in Viet Nam
  1. Helen Marucci-Wellman1,*,
  2. Tom B Leamon2,
  3. Ta Thi Tuyet Binh3,
  4. Nguyen Bich Diep3,
  5. Joanna L Willetts1,
  6. David H Wegman4,
  7. David Kriebel4
  1. 1 Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, United States;
  2. 2 Harvard School of Public health, United States;
  3. 3 National Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health, Viet Nam;
  4. 4 University of Massachusetts Lowell, Viet Nam
  1. Correspondence to: Helen Marucci-Wellman, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, 71 Frankland Road, Hopkinton, 01748, United States; helen.wellman{at}


Background: Health and injury surveillance data of the highest achievable quality is needed in order to appropriately allocate scarce resources at the local and national levels.

Methods: This study is the first reported surveillance study of injury using a complete community sample in Viet Nam. The workplaces in Xuan Tien commune most likely to benefit from intervention were identified and ranked by the magnitude of the problem (or highest injury count workplaces or jobs), the risk (or highest incidence rates) and the burden (or the effect of injuries on the livelihoods of the workers).

Results: Five hundred ninety-one injuries were recalled in the one month prior to survey administration, which satisfied the injury case criteria of this study (the annualized incidence rate (IR) was 681 per 1000 residents). Four hundred eighty-two were attributed to work activities (82%), yielding an annualized IR of 1001/1000 Full Time Equivalent workers (FTEs)). The highest number of injuries occurred in the manufacturing sector (n = 299) followed by agriculture, second in rank with many fewer injuries (n = 70). The highest rate of injury was in the transport, storage and communications sector (annualized IR = 1,583/1000 FTE) followed by manufacturing (1,235/1000 FTE); agriculture ranked third (844/1000 FTE).

Conclusion: This study identified patterns of risk which, because of the consideration of work culture and resultant data collection methods, are believed to be more reliable than those from previous studies. Interventions in the manufacture of machinery and equipment sector (the largest industry in the commune) would have the most impact on reducing occupational injuries. Despite the trend towards manufacturing, agriculture is still a high priority, and its impact will likely be substantial for many years.

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