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Thailand records over 700 dead in work-related accidents

Commerce minister warns rice mills not to exploit farmers

Thailand records over 700 dead in work-related accidents

Over 700 workers died across Thailand in work-related accidents last year, according to official statistics.
Nationwide 198,652 persons were injured or became seriously ill at work during 2007. Thailand’s work-related accidents last year included not only the 741 persons who died unnecessarily, but 16 became permanently handicapped, and 3,259 workers lost body parts, such as hands, arms or legs.
The official statistics show the highest number of accidents occurred at work due to construction materials or other objects falling on workers: The eyes were the most vulnerable and affected organs.
Most work-related accidents occurred in businesses involving steel construction materials or mishandled equipment and the workers most frequently injured were machine operators.
Nakhon Pathom in central Thailand last year earned the dubious distinction of having the highest worker’s death rate and injury toll in the country.
Public Health Minister Chaiya Sasomsab said his department’s policy is to support safety and healthcare measures in the workplace in order to reduce economic and social losses and improve the quality of life for labourers.
The ministry, he said, will encourage workers to use protective equipment to prevent potential accidents and there should also be a clampdown on workers who drink alcohol or take drugs at work, he added. (TNA)


Commerce minister warns rice mills not to exploit farmers

Commerce and Deputy Prime Minister Mingkwan Saengsuwan has warned the country’s rice millers not to exploit farmers for personal gain, saying the ministry might opt to purchase rice directly from farmers if the exploitation persists.
To mark the Royal Ploughing Day, May 9, Mingkwan said he wanted all parties concerned to supervise the rice trade system to ensure prevailing justice.
Rice prices have continued to increase on the back of global demand for Thailand’s harvest.
Fragrant jasmine rice (Khao Hom Mali) rice is now priced at 19,000-20,000 baht/tonne by the rice mills, paddy rice (unmilled) at 12,000-14,000 baht a tonne, and sticky rice at 8,200-8,500 baht a tonne if the humidity is less than 15 per cent. Should the humidity be higher than that, the purchase price offered by rice mills might be somewhat lower.
Mingkwan said should farmers be pressed by rice mills to sell rice at unfair prices, they could file complaints with the ministry.
He insisted the government was ready to take legal measures and set aside a budget to purchase paddy rice directly from farmers if the exploitation persisted.
He added the jasmine rice price quoted on a Freight-on-Board (FOB) basis for export averages 39,700 baht a tonne and ordinary white rice price averages 29,000-32,000 bt/tonne. (TNA)