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MOEL to focus on preventing fall accidents at construction sites for two months starting August

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Jul 30, 2017


The Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) has announced that it will conduct a safety campaign in August and a programmed inspection of construction sites in September to prevent fall accidents. Fall accidents account for the largest number of fatal accidents occurring in the construction industry and their frequency has increased compared to the previous year.


* By the end of June 2017, a total of 220 people (a decrease of 13 people compared to the same period of last year) had been killed in occupational accidents in the construction industry, and of those deaths, 138 or 63% were caused by fall accidents.   * By the end of December 2016, a total of 499 people had been killed in occupational accidents in the construction industry, and of those deaths, 281 or 56% were caused by fall accidents.


MOEL will have a guidance period throughout the whole month of August during which it will actively publicize fall accident prevention measures through a safety campaign, prevention education and the distribution of technical materials, so that construction sites can make voluntary improvements. 


The programmed inspection starting on September 1st will be targeted at more than 1,000 selected construction sites prone to fall accidents, including factory and community facility construction sites and sites with a poorly installed external scaffold, and be conducted without advance notice.


Among small and medium construction sites with a construction cost of less than 12 billion won, those with a system scaffold which is assembled from a standardized external scaffold, work platform and guard rail and therefore highly safe will be excluded from the inspection. 


《Types of fall accidents to which construction sites are prone》
 According to the results of an analysis of deaths caused by occupational accidents in the construction industry over the past ten years (2007~2016), the  types of fall accidents to which construction sites are prone are as follows:


  • a fall while finishing the roof of a factory, • a fall while assembling the steel-frame structures of a factory, • a fall from a scaffold installed at a community facility construction site, • a fall while doing work, such as assembling a formwork, on a scaffold • a fall while installing or dismantling a scaffold


During the inspection, inspectors will focus on whether safety measures, such as installing work platforms, guard rails, covers for openings, anti-fall nets, etc., are taken to prevent fall accidents.


If a workplace is found negligent in taking safety measures as a result of the inspection, MOEL will take stringent action, such as ordering it to stop work or receive a safety diagnosis, not to mention dealing with it judicially.


It will also impose fines* on workers who work without wearing protective gear even though the employer has given them protective gear, including safety helmets, and required them to wear it.


* Such workers will be fined 50,000 won for violating Article 25 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (workers' duties).


Kim Wang, the Director-General of MOEL's Industrial Accident Compensation and Prevention Bureau, said, "The construction industry has more fatal accidents than other industries, and in particular, fall accidents account for more than half of them. So MOEL will focus its administrative capacity on preventing fall accidents."


He also said, "Most fall accidents occur because of negligence in installing safety facilities, such as work platforms and guard rails. Considering this, we will take strict action against workplaces negligent in taking safety measures,  develop and distribute technical materials on fall prevention measures so that workplaces can make voluntary improvements, and actively support the installation costs* of small and medium workplaces."


* Construction workplaces with a construction cost of less than two billion won are given help with the costs 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. (For more information, contact KOSHA's regional and area offices. ☎ 1544-3088)

Last Modifide Date   :   Fri September 8, 2017
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