New project will build capacity for occupational safety and health services in Vietnam

Collaboration between UMN School of Public Health and partners in Vietnam will help develop strategies to expand Vietnam’s occupational safety and health (OSH) infrastructure, which has not kept pace with recent economic growth

Virgil McDill | March 1, 2024

Vietnam is projected to be one of the fastest growing economies in Asia over the next decade. And while the nation’s rapid industrialization has brought needed growth and economic opportunities to millions of Vietnamese people, it has also led to an increase in hazardous working conditions and high rates of occupational injuries, diseases, and deaths. While the Vietnamese government has taken steps to address this challenge, the pace of economic growth has often outstripped the government’s efforts to train and certify enough occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals to meet the burgeoning demand.

Trân Huỳnh

A new project led by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health (SPH), in conjunction with Thang Long University (Hanoi) and Workplace Health Without Borders, aims to address this public health challenge. With pilot funding from the UMN Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility, the researchers aim to build a partnership network between Vietnamese academic and governmental organizations and UMN faculty in order to identify capacity-building opportunities in Vietnam’s OSH.

To accomplish these overall objectives, the UMN team and their partners in Vietnam will collaborate on four key projects over the next 18 months:

  • Assist Vietnam National University partners to organize an international conference to share experiences and best practices on OSH.
  • Plan a visit from the UMN team to Vietnam to meet their Vietnamese counterparts in person and discuss OSH capacity building strategies.
  • Organize bi-monthly, online, educational seminars focusing on OSH efforts in Vietnam and the U.S. This ongoing activity will facilitate bilateral communications and help to shape future initiatives among the collaborative.
  • Jointly conduct a needs assessment on the progress — and ongoing challenges — of OSH training and development in Vietnam. As part of this needs assessment, Dr. Hien Ngo from Thang Long University,  a co-PI on the project, will lead the narrative review of the status of OSH efforts in Vietnam.

“Building capacity for OSH is a key public health need identified by our Vietnamese partners,” says Trân Huỳnh, SPH Associate Professor and principal investigator on the project. “By facilitating partnerships that allow UMN experts to share information on OSH and capacity building, we believe this collaborative project will help lay the foundation for addressing this need and advance the goal of safer workplaces across Vietnam.”

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