Nov. 16, 2017
The Ministry of Employment and Labor (Minister Kim Young-joo) is set to conduct an emergency inspection campaign targeting construction sites with a tower crane (24 construction sites with a combined total of 55 tower cranes) in Pohang and neighboring areas in North Gyeongsang Province where a 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck on November 15th and its aftershocks with magnitudes of 2~4.6 are continuing for a second day.
Immediately after the earthquake that occurred at 14:29 on November 15th, MOEL instructed its local offices, KOSHA's regional headquarters and area offices and construction companies with a high risk of large-scale accidents to make thorough preparations, including finding out the current status of accidents and strengthening safety inspections, to prevent accidents.
In particular, for construction sites with a tower crane in Pohang and neighboring areas in North Gyeongsang Province, special inspection teams were set up jointly by MOEL's district offices in the relevant jurisdiction and KOSHA, led by the Daegu Regional Employment and Labor Office. They will mainly inspect whether there is any problem in the primary structure of a tower crane and whether the safety devices, etc., for a tower crane are working well.
Moreover, even after the emergency inspections, MOEL will enhance on-going monitoring of such high-risk construction sites and take stringent action against construction sites poorly managing the safety of tower cranes, for example by suspending the use of tower cranes until fundamental safety is secured.
According to MOEL, tower crane accidents triggered by earthquakes lead to a huge loss of life as they claim many workers' lives, and also inflict damage on the public by destroying adjacent roads, building, etc., so thoroughly managing the safety of tower cranes is essential.
Taking account of the fact that relevant ministries jointly announced 'measures to prevent serious accidents involving tower cranes' today (Nov. 16), MOEL will do its utmost to prevent large-scale accidents, such as tower crane collapses at construction sites, that might be caused by aftershocks following the Pohang earthquake.