The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) yesterday conducted surprise labor inspections on construction sites along National Freeway No. 1, and found labor safety violations at all the sites checked. The council issued fines totaling NT$990,000 (US$33,000).
CLA Minister Jennifer Wang (王如玄) led 17 the labor inspectors as who conducted the surprise checks at 12 construction sites along National Freeway No. 1 between Wugu (五股) and Yangmei (楊梅). Since February last year, when freeway construction started, there have been seven construction-related accidents, resulting in one death and three injuries.
Labor inspectors found a total of 21 safety violations at the accident prone sites, ranging from unstable construction floors to broken safety nets and inadequate safety measures on high-rise -construction sites. Some workers were also found to not have the proper certifications, the council said.
“Improper safety measures on construction sites pose dangers not only to workers, but are also putting motorists at risk,” Wang said.
Wang said she hoped that by increasing the frequency of labor inspections and issuing heavy fines, developers would be deterred from thinking that they might be “lucky” and get away with labor safety violations.
She added that the aim of increased labor inspections was to encourage employers to step up their own inspections of labor safety at construction sites, rather than wait until accidents happened.
The council has conducted 151 on-site labor safety inspections since February last year, issued more than NT$4 million in fines and haltd construction in 21 -instances. However, as yesterday’s violations demonstrate, earlier fines have clearly not deterred further labor violations.
Of the 12 construction sites inspected, seven were ordered to halt construction immediately. Work at those construction sites would not be allowed to restart until improvements to labor safety conditions were made and the site passed a second labor inspection, the council said.
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