Digital transformation of OSH activities in the new context of Vietnam

Digital transformation in Vietnam and in the world

On June 3, 2020, the Prime Minister issued Decision No. 749/QD-TTg approving the “National Digital Transformation Program to 2025, orientation to 2030”. In which, Viet Nam aims to be in the group of 50 leading countries in e-Government (EGDI). The National Digital Transformation Program has gradually come into life and strongly promoted the digial transformation process in units, agencies and organizations. Digital transformation has been identified by the Government as an inevitable trend and a favorable opportunity for Vietnam to break through and develop comprehensively in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (The Industry 4.0). The National Digital Transformation has aimed to transform Vietnam into a smart country with 3 main pillars: (i) Digital Government; (ii) Digital Economy; (iii) Digital Society. The role of the Digital Government is an important factor: “the locomotive of the digital transformation train”.

The world is in the explosive phase of Industry 4.0, a new technological revolution which is different from the previous ones. In term of speed, it increases exponentially; in term of scope and depth, it is a revolution based on digital revolution and combination of many technologies, leading to an unprecedented change in social-economic model; on systematic effects, it includes the transformation of entire systems, across countries, businesses, industries and society as a whole. Like other revolutions, it is necessary to accept the “smashing and sacrificing” of the old and backward in order to have a new one, in accordance with the law of devepoment and evolution. To implement this Revolution successfully and not to be left behind, countries must implement “Digital Transformation”.

In today’s world, the concept of Digital Transformation includes modernizing information technology, optimizing digital to change model of production, business, activities of organizations, businesses or countries and create new forms of business, providing digital services. The digital economy is curently worth an estimated 3 trillion USD. Businesses, agencies, organizations and individuals are gradually increasing their dependence on digital technology platforms, safe, stable and reliable internet, thereby making the transition from the traditional form of operation to a modern one on digital platform including OSH work gradually transferring a part of information, training, testing, assessment and supervision from face-to-face to online, e-learning and digital technology application.

Digital Transformation in OSH field

In Korea, the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency has researched,  developed and conducted online OSH training courses for decades. Up to now, virtual reality training is growing rapidly along with the growth of high-tech products of leading technology firms such as SamSung, LG, etc.

The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the process of digital transformation in all activities including telehealth. Digital transformation is increasingly changing the perception of leaders who have the ability to determine the direction and digital tranformation of an organization. The government apparatus of many countries after realizing the important of digital transformation in inceasing operational efficiency and ensuring national security, have immmediately entered a new “race” in the application of digital transformation.

In Viet Nam, there are currently some organizations have applied e-learning training programs in the field of OSH, but have not yet developed into software, only operated on website platforms. Towards the goal of digital transformation of OSH training and teaching activities, the Vietnam National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health is developing programs, lectures and related contents in order to develop online training software system through applications operating on mobile devices. In 2020, Vietnam  Electricity (EVN) had developed a digital transformation project with the main goal of Towards to the Cooperation’s activities to be digitized, automated and to apply new technologies to improve (i) Production and business efficiency; (ii) Service quality; (iii) Labour productivity; (iv) Governance capacity for EVN to become a digital enterprise by 2030.

With the increasing risk of occupational accidents, diseases and epidemics as well as other non-traditional risks, the shift to digital platforms to solve OSH issues for enterprises and employees becomes the top priority.

According to Decision No.749/QD-TTg, there are some sectors and fields need to prioritized digital transformation in which it is necessary to focus on implementing initiatives in order to link sectors and fields to provide new experience and bring value to people, businesses and society including:

(i) Developing a flatform to support remote medical examination and treatment to help people get medical examination from distance, reduce the load of medical facilities, limit crownded contact and reduce the risk of cross infection; 100% of medical facilities have remote medical examination and treatment departments; promote digital transformation of the health sector. Developing and gradually forming a health care and disease prevention system based on digital technologies; entirely applying digital technology at medical examination and treatment facilties, contributing to administrative reform, reducing hospital workload, improving the quality of medical examination and treatment, applying electronic medical records and to move towards not using paper medial records, pay hospital fees, building smart hospitals; developing a smart health management platform based on digital technology, integrating information and data, forming national medical database;

(ii) Developing a platform for supporting teaching and learning from distance, thoroughtly applying digital technology in management, teaching and learning; digitizing documents and textbooks; developing a platform to share teaching and learning resources in both physical and online forms. Developing eduction technology towards personalized training. Striving for 100% of education institutes to implement distance teaching and learning;

(iii) Digital transformation in the field of natural resources and environment for example deploying smart solutions in monitoring, surveillance, management, environment incidents, early warning of natural disasters;

(iv) Digital transformation in the field of industrial production including digital transformation in the field of industrial production to the direction of focusing on the development of the pillars: developing a smart strategy and organizational structure, building smart factories operate intelligently and produce smart products, develop data services and develop skills for employees.

For now, digital transformation has become an imperative for businesses, agencies and organizations around the world and across industries, it is no longer just an option or strategic consideration on the table of businesses managers. Strategic discussions at businesses, agencies and organizations about digital transformantion now have focused on sustantive topics such as where to prioritize in the value chain of enterprises, organizations; who is the leader of the digital transformation project; allocating budgets and measuring digital transformation performance. Follow to the requirement of today’s reality as well as the goals and programes of the Government, it is important and necessary for OSH organizations to timely propose projects and have adequate actions to promote and implement digital transformation in the field of OSH.

Nguyen Anh Tho, PH.D

Director General of Vietnam Notional Institute of Occupational Safety and Health