by Thuy Dang
Since October 2002 the Vietnamese Decision No. 3733/2002/QD-BYT of the Ministry of Health (MOH) has been a basis for labor hygiene requirements. This decision provides 21 labor hygiene standards applicable to any working facilities as well as 5 principles and 7 labor hygiene measurements as fundamental guidance for designing working equipment and labor classification.
There have been various amendments to these standards, including the complete abolition of four: Standards for Hygienic Amenities, X-ray Radiation and Radioactivity (by Circular No. 25/2017/TT-BYT on May 17, 2017) and Standards for Hygienic Distance (by Circular No. 25/2018/TT-BYT on September 28, 2018). Recently, the MOH issued 2 circulars promulgating amendments to 5 standards in the 2002 Decision.
Amendment to Permissible Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs) of Dust
Decision No. 3733/2002/QD-BYT contains 4 standards regarding dust at workplaces for silica dust, non-silica dust, cotton dust and asbestos dust. These standards will be replaced, effective from September 22, 2019, by Circular No. 02/2019/TT-BYT which promulgates the national technical regulation on OELs for 5 types of dust: asbestos dust, silica dust, non-silica dust, cotton dust and coal dust.
This regulation applies to governmental agencies of environmental management, organizations monitoring the working environment and organizations and individuals having dust generating activities at workplace(s). All working establishments are required to periodically monitor the chemical concentrations of the dusts at least once a year and immediately perform necessary measures to improve working conditions and protect employee’s health when the concentrations exceed the threshold.
Along with the time weighted average (TWA) values for each dust type, the regulation provides calculation formula for more specific working cases and standardized quantitative methodology in the annexes.
Amendment to Permissible Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs) of 50 Chemicals
Decision No. 3733/2002/QD-BYT establishes the workplace Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs) that are required to be disclosed in Section 8 of the Vietnamese SDS. OELs for chemicals present in working air are regulated in Chapter XXI of said decision. It applies to all facilities that are considered ”working environments” (manufacturing, business, service facilities etc.) and not to residential environments.
On June 10, 2019, the Ministry of Health issued Circular No. 10/2019/TT-BYT to promulgate the national technical regulations for OELs of 50 chemicals present in working air, including calculation formula and quantitative methodology. This regulation will replace the requirement of the corresponding 50 chemicals in Decision No. 3733/2002/QD-BYT when it comes into operation on December 9, 2019.
All working establishments are required to periodically monitor the chemical concentrations at least once per year and immediately perform necessary measures to improve working conditions and protect employee’s health when the concentrations exceed the threshold.
References (in Vietnamese only):
Circular No. 10/2019/TT-BYT Promulgating National Technical Regulation on 50 Chemicals – Permissible Exposure Limit Value of 50 Chemicals at the Workplace http://vbpl.thuathienhue.gov.vn/Upload/DOCUMENTS/2019/7/10-2019-TT-BYT.pdf
Circular No. 02/2019/TT-BYT Promulgating National Technical Regulation on Dust – Permissible Exposure Limit Value of Dust at the Workplace. https://soyte.binhduong.gov.vn/Pages/chi-tiet-van-ban-chi-dao-dieu-hanh.aspx?ItemID=2048
Vietnam, Circular No. 02/2019/TT-BYT, Circular No. 10/2019/TT-BYT, Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs)
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