Sat, Apr 30, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Stores told to reposition microwaves

SOMETHING’S COOKING:A recent investigation of convenience stores nationwide found that more than 50% might be exposing their workers to too much radiation

By Shelley Huang  /  Staff Reporter

The Council of Labor Affairs has notified major convenience store chains throughout the country that microwave ovens must be placed at a safe distance from store clerks to protect them from harmful radiation.

Microwave ovens are a necessity in local convenience stores, where lunch boxes or other food purchased by customers are heated as a popular convenience.

However, microwave ovens are not beneficial to the health of workers who often stand too close to them because of the nature of their job, the council said.

The Taiwan Electromagnetic Radiation Hazard Protection and Control Association recently released the results of its investigation of microwave ovens in convenience stores nationwide and found that more than half of the stores did not place the microwave a safe distance from store clerks.

Since many store clerks work behind the counter or cash register, they might stand too close to the microwave ovens, which poses a health risk because of the radiation that is emitted.

In response to the report, Council of Labor Affairs Minister Jennifer Wang (王如玄) said yesterday that official notices were sent to the four major convenience store chains — 7-Eleven, Family Mart, OK-Mart and HiLife — so they could make corrections if the microwave ovens are located too close to where store clerks are usually stationed.

In addition to the notices, the council will send inspectors from local labor departments to check that the stores are not violating the regulations. Those who have not made the requested improvements will face fines of between NT$30,000 and NT$60,000, said Fu Huan-jan (傅還然), chief of the council’s Department of Labor Safety and Health.

In related news, the council yesterday also reminded employers that since Workers’ Day tomorrow falls on a Sunday, employers are required to schedule an additional day off for those whose regular day off is also on Sunday.

This story has been viewed 3868 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top