The number of deaths from occupational accidents last year, which was tentatively counted, was 828, a decrease of 54 from the previous year (882).
The Ministry of Employment and Labor provides consulting to support the establishment of a safety and health management system for small and medium-sized construction companies in order to reduce serious accidents.
According to Yoon Mi-hyang, an independent member of the National Assembly Environment and Labor Committee, and the Ministry of Employment and Labor on the 9th, the number of deaths from industrial accidents last year was 828, 54 fewer than the previous year (882). This is a count of cases where industrial accident approval was granted by the Korea Workers’ Compensation and Welfare Service. This is much higher than the Ministry of Labor’s target of reducing the number to the low 700s.
Many of the fatalities occurred in small businesses. There were 317 (38.3%) workplaces with fewer than 5 employees and 351 (42.4%) workplaces with 5 to 49 employees. In workplaces with fewer than 50 employees, 80.7% of all accident deaths occurred. 54 (6.5%) from 50 to 99, 58 (7.0%) from 100 to 299, 30 (3.6%) from 300 to 999, and 18 (2.2%) from 1,000 or more.
Even if the Act on Punishment of Serious Accidents (Severe Accident Punishment Act) goes into effect on the 27th, it disproves concerns that it will not have a significant impact on the reduction of accident deaths. This law will take effect from January 2024 for workplaces with fewer than 50 employees, and does not apply to businesses with fewer than five employees.
When looking at the accident type, most of the deaths occurred due to conventional accidents. The most common drop was 351 (42.4%). Then 95 people (11.5%) were caught, 72 people (8.7%) collided, 56 people (6.8%) were caught in traffic accidents outside of the workplace (transportation/food and lodging business), 54 people (6.5%) were crushed or overturned, 52 people ( 6.3%).
Last year, the Ministry of Labor, which provided consulting business to support the establishment of a safety and health management system for large construction companies and manufacturers, is moving the target to small and medium-sized construction companies this year. About 1,700 general construction companies constructing construction sites with a construction cost of 5 billion won or more are targeted.
It requests companies to self-diagnose on the level of establishment and implementation of the safety and health management system, and based on the results, consults construction companies ranked 201st in construction rankings or lower. The Occupational Safety and Health Agency oversees the project.
Kwon Ki-seop, head of the Ministry of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Headquarters, said, “Last year, the number of deaths from industrial accidents was at an all-time low, but the number of fatal accidents at construction sites with a scale of more than 5 billion won subject to the Serious Accident Punishment Act was 116, which still exceeded 100.” It will be of great help to the establishment and implementation of the safety and health management system if the Ministry of Labor’s data, such as a commentary on the Punishment Act, a guidebook for the safety and health management system, and a self-checklist for each industry, are actively used.”