Thu, Jan 17, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Taipei to make safety records public

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

As part of its latest effort to improve safety at construction sites, Taipei City’s Department of Labor Affairs has established two online databases of fatal accidents at major construction sites, which will serve as a new index for homebuyers in search of quality houses.

One of the two databases — “Occupational Hazard Map” — was made available on the department’s Web site at this month.

The Web site lists construction sites with accidents that caused at least one death or three injuries of on-site workers.

More transparent information on the safety of major construction sites will prompt construction firms to pay more attention to safety, department commissioner Chen Yeh-hsin (陳業鑫) said yesterday at Taipei City Hall.

“Especially in Taipei, big construction companies make huge profits with apartment complex projects. The online databases will put pressure on the construction firms and employers, so that they will make more effort to ensure the safety of the construction sites and protect workers’ rights,” he said.

While the “Occupational Hazard Map” database offers information on construction sites with bad records, the other database — “Quality Construction Projects” — lists construction projects with no fatal accidents or records of construction suspensions due to safety concerns.

Taipei City Labor Inspection Office Director Tzou Tzu-lien (鄒子廉) said projects involving the construction of seven-story or higher buildings with no records of construction suspensions or fatal accidents will be put on the Web site, which will be available from next month.

Chen said the open databases are being established in accordance with the Freedom of Government Information Act (政府資訊公開法) and Labor Safety and Health Act (勞工安全衛生法), dismissing concerns about the disclosure of information on the names and locations of the construction projects, and its impact on the reputation of the projects and housing prices.

“We believe the databases will help consumers oversee the quality of construction projects and promote the safety of workers,” he said.

Fourteen workers died on construction sites in Taipei last year, much lower than in the other four special municipalities, the department said, as it promised to make continued efforts to lower accident rates.

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