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Ministry of Employment and Labor of the Republic of Korea

05/28/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/18/2017 21:13

MOEL to undertake inspections of 840 construction sites from Jun. 5

May 28, 2017

The Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) will conduct inspections of 840 construction sites between June 5th (Mon.) and 23rd (Fri.) to prevent large-scale construction accidents caused by rainy season-related hazards.

During the rainy season, the following hazards increase: soil erosion and collapse caused by a heavy rainfall, an electric shock from an electric machine or instrument, suffocation while working in a confined space, tower crane collapse or fall caused by high winds, such as typhoons, and health problems due to a heat wave.

< Major accidents that occurred at construction sites during rainy season>

▲ In June 2016, a worker was drowned in a torrent created by a heavy rainfall while carrying out repair work inside a manhole at a covered structure repair site in Ulsan (One death).
▲ In July 2016, a worker was buried under earth when a vertical excavation face collapsed at a water pipeline installation site in Gumi. He was spreading sand along a pipeline buried 2.5m below the surface (one death).
▲ In July 2016, a worker was shocked by an electric current that leaked out of a nearby rebar cutter while assembling rebars sitting on a pile of rebars at a construction site in Cheonan (one death).

Before undertaking the construction site inspection campaign to prepare for the rainy season, MOEL will encourage construction workplaces to remove hazards in advance through education for construction site managers. It will select and inspect construction sites with rainy season-related hazards, such as flooding, soil collapse and electric shocks.

In relation to the crane collapse that recently occurred in Namyangju, Gyeonggi, MOEL will thoroughly inspect construction sites to ensure their compliance with crane safety measures and detect any unfair expenditure, such as occupational safety and health management expenses used for other purposes.

Each inspection will be conducted by an inspection team composed of two labor inspectors from MOEL and one KOSHA employee specializing in construction, without advance notice.

MOEL will take strong action, such as giving judicial treatment or imposing fines, against workplaces found to violate laws as a result of inspection. It will also take strict administrative action, such as issuing a stop-work order or stop-use order if a place or a machine, an instrument, etc., has a risk of causing accidents.

Kim Wang, the Director-General of MOEL's Industrial Accident Prevention and Compensation Bureau, said, 'The big accidents* that lately occurred in the construction industry left many casualties, greatly increasing people's concerns about safety accidents.'

The main cause of those accidents was disregard for safety measures during work and the shift of dangerous tasks to subcontractors with a weak safety management capability. He asked construction workplaces and principal contractors to do their utmost for accident prevention by observing basic safety rules and reinforcing safety management for workers of subcontractors.

* On May 22, 2017, a crane toppled over at an apartment construction site in Namyangju, Gyeonggi, leaving three people dead and two injured. On May 22, 2017, tunnel excavation equipment fell over while being dismantled at a subway construction site in Songpa-gu, Seoul, leaving two people dead.

Meanwhile, MOEL posted on its website the 'OSH guidelines for construction sites during the rainy season'* which contain examples of accidents occurring at construction sites during the rainy season and related safety measures, so that they can be actively used by construction companies and workplaces.

* The guidelines are available on MOEL's website(www.moel.go.kr).