The Council of Labor Affairs said yesterday that it will invest more than NT$100 million (US$3.05 million) in improving the work environments of the "3K" industries -- or dangerous, tough and dirty industries.
Council officials said that many traditional industries, including the printing, dying and finishing, rubber, synthetic resin, casting, forging and heat-handling sectors, have risk factors such as high temperatures, noise and high pollution in their work environments.
Vocational hazards in these sectors are also higher than in other jobs, such that many local workers are unwilling to work in them. More than 40 percent of manufacturers in these sectors want to introduce foreign laborers to meet labor shortages.
To improve safety and health in the workplace and to attract more local workers to the sectors, the council has worked with the economic affairs ministry's Industrial Development Bureau to form a counseling team to improve working conditions, with the budget for improvements to be shouldered by the government.
Lin Chin-chi (林進基), director of the council's Department of Labor Safety and Health, said counseling worth NT$75 million would be covered by the council and the ministry, with professionals serving as counselors.
The council would appropriate another NT$100 million to invite 150 inspectors to examine improvements.
It would also spend more than NT$200 million next year, he said.
The council estimated that there are 19 categories of "tough work," with around 15,030 operators and an annual production value of NT$1.48 trillion.