Sep 24, 2017
The Ministry of Employment Labor (Minister Kim Young-joo) has instructed all workplaces to conduct a safety self-inspection and safety education just before and after Chuseok (Sept. 25~29 and Oct. 10~16) through cooperation between labor and management in order to prevent industrial accidents that might occur during the Chuseok holiday.
Small workplaces which have difficulty in conducting a safety inspection and safety education on their own will be able to receive technical assistance if they make a request for such assistance to MOEL's local offices or the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA).
According to MOEL, workplaces need to pay special attention to safety management before and after a holiday because there could be a slackening of safety management and they tend to stop or restart the operation of their production facilities during that period.
For example, on September 27th 2012, two days before the Chuseok holiday, a leak of hydrogen fluoride gas occurred at a plant in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province while workers were unloading the gas from a tank truck into a storage tank at the plant. The accident resulted in 23 casualties including five deaths.
MOEL will provide guidance to workplaces to ensure that they conduct safety self-inspections, focusing especially on work with a risk of large-scale accidents, such as work involving cranes and work in confined spaces, and provide safety education before such work begins.
As for a total of 4,067 high-risk workplaces including large construction sites and workplaces in the chemical, shipbuilding and steel industries, the results of their safety self-inspections will be checked by MOEL's local offices.
If a workplace has a serious accident around the Chuseok holiday despite being given the opportunity to conduct self-inspections and make improvements, responsible individuals, including its employer, will be strictly held to account.
Meanwhile, MOEL and KOSHA will set up an emergency response system to respond promptly to emergency situations, such as serious accidents, which might occur during the holiday.
Kim Wang, the Director-General of the Industrial Accident Prevention and Compensation Bureau, stressed, "Because this year's Chusoek holiday is longer than usual, companies may press ahead with work before and after the holiday to meet their tight delivery deadlines, which could lead to serious accidents. So they should pay special attention to safety management."