Vietnam amends standard for exposure limits of dusts in workplace

On March 21, 2019, the Ministry of Health of Vietnam enacted the national technical standard of “QCVN 02:2019/BYT on permissible exposure limit value of five dusts in the workplace” (hereinafter referred to as the “Technical Standard”) as an attachment to the Circular No. 02/2019/TT-BYT. This circular came into force on September 22, 2019. Accordingly, the permissible exposure limits of asbestos dust, silica dust, non-silica dust and cotton dust specified in the Ministry of Health’s Decision No. 3733/2002/QD-BYT was invalidated.

This Technical Standard establishes permissible exposure limits for the following five types of dust in the workplace:

  1. Asbestos dust
  2. Silica dust
  3. Non-silica dust
  4. Cotton dust
  5. Coal dust

As a concrete example, the following are the limit values for asbestos dust.

No. Substance Time Weighted Average (TWA) (unit: fiber/ml)
1 Serpentine (chrysotile) 0.1
2 Amphibole 0

In addition to the permissible exposure limits, the Technical Standards also define the following management responsibilities:

  • Facilities with workers exposed to dusts shall be assessed for such dusts at least once a year in accordance with this Technical Standard and the relevant provisions of the Law on Occupational Safety and Health.
  • Employers shall provide workers with protective equipment appropriate to the workplace in accordance with Law on Occupational Health and Safety and relevant regulations.
  • Where dust concentrations exceed the permissible exposure limits set out in this Technical Standard, the employer shall immediately take measures to improve the work environment and protect workers’ health in accordance with Law on Occupational Health and Safety and relevant regulations.

The original text of the Technical Standard is available for download below:
http://vihema.gov.vn/download/thong-tu-ban-hanh-quy-chuan-ky-thuat-quoc-gia-ve-bui-gia-tri-gioi-han-tiep-xuc-cho-phep-05-yeu-to-bui-tai-noi-lam-viec#