Logistics companies and contractors hit with big fines
Logistics companies and their contractors have been fined for safety violations by the Ministry of Employment and Labor.
The ministry did not identify the companies fined, but in a statement it said that it carried out inspections Oct. 21 through Nov. 13 following the deaths of a number of delivery workers during a time of heavy package volume.
Whether logistics contractors, which sign contracts with delivery workers, followed the safety regulations and provided safety and health education were some of the key issues driving the inspections.
A total of 126 violations were discovered at sub terminals related to the lack of protection devices for conveyor belts and the lack of regular safety and health education. The fines for logistics firms operating the sub terminals totaled 66 million won ($59,600). Out of the 430 partner companies, 208 were fined a total of 206 million won, while three of them have been charged with legal violations. Cooperative firms responsible for loading and unloading cargo at sub terminals were fined 139 million won.
Through the inspection, the ministry also discovered that the majority of delivery workers work at least 10 hours a day, and more than 14 hours during the peak season. Their workload wasn’t eased even if health checks indicated a problem.
Working hours, delivery packages and health examinations of 1,862 delivery workers were reviewed.
With the goal of improving the working environment, the ministry plans to promote and enforce the regulations on safety and health and revise the related laws.
“The result of the supervision has proved that protective measures for delivery workers and others working in the field are insufficient,” said Park Young-man, director-general of industrial accident prevention and compensation bureau. The ministry “will come up with support measures and law revisions as well as continue the supervision of the industry to help people engaged in the package delivery industry work safely in the future.”
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]