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MOEL takes judicial action against 547 construction sites neglecting safety measures as follow-up to its inspection campaign during spring thaw

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Mar. 28, 2017


As a result of inspecting construction sites during the spring thaw, the Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL, Minister Lee Ki-kweon) announced that it would fine 854 workplaces a total of 2.42 billion won and take judicial action against 547 workplaces neglecting safety measures, such as measures to prevent earth collapse or falls of workers.


MOEL had inspected 1,002 major construction sites nationwide for three weeks from February 20th to March 10th. The announcement came as a result of the construction site inspection campaign during the spring thaw.


* construction sites at great risk of ground or earth collapse or any other large accident, such as those where a large bridge was being built or tunneling or excavation work was being carried out


The inspections focused on whether workplaces had addressed vulnerabilities associated with spring thaw, such as earth collapse, and taken measures to prevent falls or falling object accidents causing many deaths.


As a result of the inspections, violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act were detected at 957 out of the 1,002 construction sites inspected.


It was also found that there was a risk of fall accidents or collapse of earth or work platforms at 547 workplaces (1,294 violations).


《Violations detected》
• A construction site under the control of construction company A showed poor overall compliance with safety measures by failing to install guard rails, fasten work platforms and install covers for openings. The project manager and the company representative were arrested for investigation and an indefinite full stop-work order was issued against the construction site. 
• A construction site under the control of construction company B was found to have spent more than 24 million won of occupational safety and health management expenses for purposes other than accident prevention for which such expenses can only be used. MOEL imposed a fine of 10 million won on the company and requested the Public Procurement Service to take 0.5 points off its credibility rating. 


MOEL issued stop-work orders against 242 workplaces in which work carrying an imminent risk of accidents was being performed and decided to deal judicially with the employers or safety managers of 547 workplaces which left their accident risks unaddressed by neglecting workplace safety measures.

MOEL also said that it would impose fines of 2.42 billion won on 854 workplaces (1,730 violations) which had committed minor violations, such as failure to conduct health examinations for workers and failure to provide safety education, in addition to ordering them to correct their violations, and that it would keep checking whether workplaces make improvements with regard to their violations detected during the inspections.

  < Results of the inspection campaign during the spring thaw >

Workplaces inspected


Workplaces committing violations

Workplaces judicially dealt with

Workplaces fined

Workplaces issued with stop-work orders

Workplaces issued stop-use orders

No. of workplaces

Amount of fines (1,000 won)












Kim Wang, the Director-General of MOEL's Industrial Accident Prevention and Compensation Bureau, said, "Despite the overall downward trend in occupational accidents, fatal accidents at construction sites have hardly declined and are likely to grow again this year."


◈ The number of construction sites increased by 16.2% from 1,021,738 in 2015 to 1,187,232 in 2016 thanks to the booming housing construction market with the value of construction orders received hitting a record high in 2016.
  * value of construction orders received/value of construction completed: 90.6 trillion won/98.5 trillion won in 2014 → 134.2 trillion won/100 trillion won in 2015→ 145.2 trillion won/118.9 trillion won in 2016


He also said, "The government will mobilize all its administrative capabilities to respond strongly to construction accidents. To be concrete, the government will identify in advance the potential hazards construction sites may face during each vulnerable period, provide technical and financial support to those construction sites and bolster labor inspections, as well as inspecting construction sites just as it did during this spring thaw."

Last Modifide Date   :   Thu May 11, 2017
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