Panel calls for an end to the outsourcing of risky work

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Panel calls for an end to the outsourcing of risky work

The special investigative panel recommended on Monday that power plant operators end the practice of outsourcing major maintenance work to subcontractors, completing a probe into the death of a young contract worker.

Kim Yong-gyun, a 24-year-old contract worker, was killed in a conveyor belt accident in December last year at a thermal power plant in Taean, South Chungcheong.

His death sparked public anger over the treatment of temporary workers, raising the need to tackle the practice of outsourcing high-risk work to contractors.

The special investigative committee released the outcome of the four-month probe and a set of its recommendation to ensure the safety of the environment for contract workers at power plants.

“Kim’s death has sounded an alarm that we should not further turn a blind eye to the issue,” Kim Ji-hyung, the panel chief, told a press briefing.

The committee said both the power plant operator and the subcontractor that Kim worked for neglected measures to secure the safety of workers. It added that they were simply trying to pass the buck to each other, not taking responsibility.

“Risks were not only outsourced, but also they further increased in a way that poses a serious threat to the safety and health of workers,” Kim said.

The panel recommended local power plants to directly hire workers in case of maintenance and fuel-related operational work.

Kim’s death prompted the National Assembly to pass a bill designed to better ensure the safety of irregular or contract workers last year, a move aimed at preventing the outsourcing of high-risk work.

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