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MOEL to inspect 1,700 construction sites in May to prevent fall accidents after guidance period in April

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Apr. 2, 2017

 

The Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) is set to conduct programmed inspections of 1,700 small and medium construction sites during the whole month of May and stage a safety campaign across the country starting in April to prevent fall accidents.

 

An analysis showed that last year 499 workers were killed in accidents while working at construction sites and of those deaths, 281 were caused by fall accidents, accounting for 56% of all fatal construction accidents.

 

* falls (281 deaths), collisions (46 deaths), being struck by falling objects (32 deaths), collapses (32 deaths)

 

The findings led MOEL to think that reducing fatal accidents which have been growing recently would be difficult without reducing fall accidents. Hence it announced that it would conduct programmed inspections of construction sites.

 

The inspections to be conducted in May will be targeted at small and medium construction sites*, such as housing, commercial and factory construction sites with a poor safety management system, and focus on fall prevention measures, including how well safety facilities, such as work platforms for works on external walls (external scaffolds), guard rails and anti-fall nets, are installed and whether or not workers wear protective gear.

 

* Among small and medium construction workplaces carrying out a construction project worth less than 2 billion won, those which have installed system scaffolds and can therefore be considered to have secured safe passage ways and work platforms will be excluded from the inspections.

 

After the inspections, MOEL will not only order suspension of work or safety diagnosis but also take strict action, such as judicial action, against violations of safety measures associated with the five major temporary structures* needed to prevent falls. It will also take strong action against violations of the requirement to wear personal protective equipment.

 

* five major temporary structures: work platforms, guard rails, covers for openings, ladders and movable scaffolds

 

Meanwhile, MOEL will have a one-month guidance period in April before the programmed inspections begin. During that period, it will provide technical information to employers so that they can install sufficient safety facilities in places where there is a risk of fall accidents.

 

In an effort to spread an atmosphere of preventing fall accidents at construction sites across the country, MOEL will hold a resolution rally that will be joined by the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, private accident prevention organizations and construction firms, and conduct various kinds of events, including PR activities through broadcast and online media.

 

Kim Wang, the Director-General of the Industrial Accident Prevention and Compensation Bureau, said, "When an external scaffold is erected for construction workers working at high altitudes, it is important to install work platforms on which workers can safely walk and work. However, in reality, such work platforms are inadequately installed because they are temporary structures."

 

"The government will conduct guidance and inspection activities to ensure that  scaffolds erected outside buildings have enough work platforms and will actively give small and medium construction sites the necessary skills to prevent fall accidents and help with the cost of installing an anti-fall system*."

 

* Construction workplaces carrying out a project worth less than 2 billion won, which are covered by industrial accident compensation insurance and not in arrears with their insurance premiums are given help with the cost of installing or borrowing safety facilities for preventing falls (system scaffolds, safety nets and ladder-type work platforms) up to 20 million won per workplace (65% of the incurred expenses).

 

※ One can apply for such financial support in person at KOSHA's regional and area offices (☎ 1544-3088) or online using the application form downloaded from the CLEAN Project website (clean.kosha.or.kr).

Last Modifide Date   :   Tue May 16, 2017
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