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S. Korea third among OECD members in work-related deaths

2014/10/24 16:52

SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has recorded the third-highest number of workers killed in industrial accidents among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) over the past six years, a lawmaker said Friday.

Eight per 100,000 workers died in industrial accidents during the 2008-2013 period in South Korea, the third-highest rate after Turkey with 15 and Mexico with 10, Rep. Lee Seok-hyun of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) said, citing data that the Ministry of Employment and Labor submitted for a regular parliamentary audit of the ministry.

During the same period, 592 per 100,000 workers in South Korea sustained injuries at their workplace, he said.

The rate of workers sustaining work-related injuries, however, is low in comparison with other OECD countries, he said, attributing it to companies' tendency to cover them up.

Experts say it is usually hard to cover up deaths from industrial accidents, but companies often try to hide industrial accidents that leave workers injured for fear of possible disadvantages in bidding for public projects.

"South Korea should shake off its image as a 'republic of industrial accidents' as soon as possible as it has a greatly higher death rate from such accidents than major advanced countries," the legislator said.

sshim@yna.co.kr

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