As food delivery increased significantly due to COVID-19, the number of fatalities in two-wheeled vehicles among delivery platform workers also increased. Last year, the number of fatal accidents involving two-wheeled vehicles in the quick service industry was 18, more than 2.5 times higher than in 2019 (7). Among the 58 fatalities from 2016 to last year, half (46.6%) of the victims were young people in their 20s and younger.
According to the Ministry of Employment and Labor on the 20th, online shopping and food service transactions amounted to 23.2 trillion won last year as demand for non-face-to-face services increased due to COVID-19. Transactions amounted to 2.7 trillion won in 2017 and 9.7 trillion won in 2019, but jumped to 17.3 trillion won in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the food delivery market grows, the number of fatalities among delivery workers is on the rise. The number of fatalities in two-wheeled vehicle accidents in the quick service industry increased to 2 in 2017, 7 in 2018, 7 in 2019, 17 in 2020, and 18 last year.
Young workers were particularly affected. Among the fatalities in delivery two-wheeled vehicle accidents from 2016 to last year, 27 people in their 20s or younger and 13 in their 30s accounted for 68.9%. Seven people in their 40s and 50s, and 4 people in their 60s and older, each lost their lives while delivering a two-wheeled vehicle.
The Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, and the National Police Agency signed an ‘Agreement to Create a Safe and Healthy Workplace for Delivery Platform Workers’ with 12 food delivery platform companies including Woowa Youth and Coupang Eats at the Korea Press Center in Jung-gu, Seoul on the afternoon of the same day. They promised to operate a platform considering the safety of workers, participate in the certification system for small parcel delivery services, establish a mutual aid association, secure a resting space for workers, and expand employment and industrial accident insurance subscriptions. The government has decided to create the necessary institutional basis for businesses to voluntarily implement the agreement and provide financial support where possible.