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MOEL to implement risk warning system to prepare for chemical plants' maintenance and repair season

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Apr. 9, 2017

 

The Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL, Minister Lee Ki-kweon) is set to implement the chemical accident risk warning system for the second quarter of 2017, which will target high-risk workplaces (i.e. PSM workplaces), as chemical plants are entering their spring maintenance and repair season.

 

* PSM workplaces refer to workplaces in the seven chemical industries prescribed pursuant to Article 49-2 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and high-risk chemical plants that have hazardous or dangerous facilities or equipment using any of the 51 hazardous or dangerous substances at or above the specified threshold quantity and are therefore subject to the Process Safety Management (PSM) System.

 

The chemical accident risk warning system* is a system in which workplaces engaged in dangerous operations, such as facility maintenance and repair, are identified in advance each quarter and intensively managed to prevent chemical accidents, such as fires, explosions and leaks, among high-risk chemical plants handling large quantities of chemicals. It has been in force since May 2014.

 

※ Number of workplaces participating in the risk warning system: 60 in May~Jul. 2014 → 271 in Q4 2014 → 1,079 in Q4 in 2015 → 1,226 in Q4 2016 → 1,394 in Q2 2017

 

Based on the results of an analysis of the signs of risk identified in workplaces,  one of the three levels of risk warnings (attention>caution>alert) is issued for each workplace and region. Workplaces are offered intensive technical guidance, diagnosis and inspection services according to their warning levels.

 

From March 18th to 24th, risk data were collected from 1,394 workplaces through KOSHA's e-PSM System (www.kosha.or.kr/epsm).

 

Among them, those* in which signs of risk were found will be provided with free on-site consulting services and then their warning levels will be finally determined on April 10th.

 

* They are workplaces which are scheduled to carry out regular repair work on their plants, to revamp and repair their major chemical facilities or equipment, to put their new facilities or equipment into operation for the first time or to bring their production facilities or equipment to an emergency stop or restart their operation.

 

** The Technical Support Team (KOSHA's staff members) of the Serious Industrial Accident Prevention Center will visit the workplaces to provide consulting services.

 

Once their warning levels are determined, workplaces at risk of accidents will be closely managed. For instance, MOEL will conduct inspections of those workplaces and KOSHA will provide technical guidance to them according to their warning levels.

 

As for regional warnings, South Jeolla Province will be issued with 'alert' warning and North Jeolla Province and South Gyeongsang Province with 'attention' warning. Periodic situation monitoring, joint meetings, PSM compliance rallies, special education for working-level people from workplaces, and so on will be conducted for these regions.

 

Kim Wang, the Director-General of MOEL's Industrial Accident Prevention and Compensation Bureau, said, "There is a great possibility that serious industrial accidents, such as fires, explosions and leaks, may occur at chemical plants during maintenance or repair work."

 

He went on to say, "We will do our best to prevent large-scale accidents at high-risk chemical plants during the peak maintenance and repair season by pre-emptively controlling accident hazards in those workplaces."

Last Modifide Date   :   Fri May 19, 2017
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