The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) plans to invest NT$500 million (US$16.78 million) over the next four years to improve the working conditions of sanitation employees, citing a high number of work-related accidents.
Their work conditions are complicated, which increases the risk of accidents, it said on Sunday.
It used to report accidents involving sanitation workers based on the number of accidents per county and municipality, but the reporting standards differed nationwide, it said.
An analysis of nationwide accident statistics over the past five years showed that sanitation workers had nearly as many accidents as all other occupations combined, the agency said.
Traffic accidents — often caused by the workers’ vehicles being struck by other vehicles — accounted for 30 percent of the total, it said, adding that most of the accidents occurred late at night or early in the morning.
The agency aims to improve work-safety education and would oversee the implementation of increased safety training for workers by local governments, it said.
The Executive Yuan on Thursday last week established a task force to promote sanitation worker safety and achieve a consensus among local governments and unions on safe practices and training that conform with laws and established standards.
The EPA said it has helped replace aging garbage trucks with newer, environmentally friendly models and to provide rest facilities for workers, adding that it would continue to invest funds to make sanitation work safer.
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