Characterize health and economic vulnerabilities of workers to control the emergence of COVID-19 in an industrial zone in Vietnam

Bach Xuan Tran, Giang Thu Vu, Carl A. Latkin, Hai Quang Pham, Hai Thanh Phan, Huong Thi Le, Roger C.M. Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The detection of first COVID-19 infected industrial worker in Vietnam on 13 April 2020 prompted timely effort to examine the health problems, behaviors, and health services access of industrial workers to inform effective and appropriate COVID-19 control measures, minimizing the risk of industrial sites becoming the next disease cluster. A search strategy involving search terms corresponding to ‘health’, ‘industrial worker’, and ‘Vietnam’ was applied to search for related papers published in English on Web of Science, PubMed, and Google Scholar. Duplicates were removed, and relevant data were extracted from the full text of remaining publications. Results showed that underlying health problems, including respiratory system problems, were common among industrial workers. Many suffered occupational diseases and/or work-related injuries. Self-treatment (without medication) was the most used method when having health problems (by 28.2–51% of participants), followed by visiting commune health centers (24%) and self-medication (20.3%). Findings suggest a high risk of disease spreading among industrial workers and of them suffering more severe conditions when infected. Economic vulnerabilities may be the reason for workers’ reluctance to taking time off work to attend hospital/clinic. These imply a need for involving local pharmacies, commune health centers, traditional health providers or village health collaborators as local health gatekeepers who are the first point of detecting and reporting of suspected COVID-19 cases, as well as a channel where accurate information regarding COVID-19, protective equipment, and intervention packages can be delivered. Having COVID-19 testing centers at or near industrial sites are also recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104811
JournalSafety Science
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Control
  • Industrial workers
  • Industrial zone
  • Vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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