SEOUL, June 23 (Korea Bizwire) — Scorching summer temperatures can be a serious risk to industrial workers.
With this in mind, the government is working on initiatives to protect industrial workers from the summer heat.
According to the Korea Occupational Safety & Health Agency (KOSHA) on Monday, the number of industrial workers who suffered from heat-related illnesses totaled 153 over the past five years, with 27 fatalities.
The majority of those who suffered from the heat were construction workers, who typically work outdoors. Over this period, 77 construction workers suffered from heat-related illnesses, with 19 fatalities.
To protect construction workers employed on smaller projects valued at less than 5 billion won (US$4.11 million) from heat-related illnesses, the agency decided to provide them with a KOSHA Cool Kit consisting of a cool arm sleeve, a cool scarf and a cool inner jacket.
If construction companies purchase moveable-type air-conditioners or sun shelters for small construction sites with fewer than 50 construction workers, the KOSHA will cover up to 70 percent of the cost, to a maximum of 20 million won.
In addition, the KOSHA intends to run health consultation services with a group of nurses visiting construction sites to check the health condition of construction workers for two months starting from next month.
“Given that this year’s summer season is likely to be hotter than average, employers should pay extra attention to prevent workers from heat-related illnesses,” KOSHA officials said.
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)