SEJONG, Mar. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — The Ministry of Environment announced on Tuesday that it will notify local governments nationwide of new guidelines for the safety of so-called environmental workers, which includes garbage collectors and street sweepers, among others, with a focus on limiting work during the night or in the early morning.
There have been numerous reports of environmental workers suffering from safety accidents due to a lack of sleep and accumulated fatigue while working in the dark.
A total of 1,822 people were involved in safety accidents between 2015 and 2017, including 18 fatalities.
The guidelines will be based on weekly work, but local governments will decide specific work hours after consultation between labor, management, and residents.
The guidelines also require drivers to install video equipment so that they can check the location and circumstances of the employees who work at the back or on the side of a vehicle.
In addition, safety switches and safety latches were installed to prevent accidents involving moving machinery.
Workers can choose the direction of the exhaust system in order to reduce exposure to the exhaust fumes of cleaning vehicles.
Furthermore, the guidelines recommend that local governments apply a three-worker system, which will allow employees to work in teams, and there is also a provision that calls on work to be suspended in case of bad weather such as heat waves, cold temperatures, heavy rain, snow and fine dust.
The guidelines apply to 43,000 workers in South Korea who are engaged in the collection and transportation of household waste.
Although the revision to the guidelines is currently being discussed at the National Assembly, the ministry expects that if approved, it will strengthen its binding force.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)