The Seoul Metropolitan Government has created safety handbooks in four languages, including Vietnamese, Khmer, Thai, and Burmese. The handbooks will be distributed to construction sites as a measure to reduce the rising number of construction site accidents involving foreign workers. This is a follow-up measure to the on-site safety training conducted in February 2014 at construction sites, and also a response to the growing need for such a safety manual.
About 300 foreign workers are employed at large-scale construction sites, including the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s subway construction sites. As of August 2014, the majority of these foreign workers are from Vietnam (83), Cambodia (82), China (65), Myanmar (29), and Thailand (22). Most of the Chinese workers are of Korean descent and therefore do not struggle with a language barrier.
Most foreign workers are deployed to construction sites after only short training sessions, and as a result, they lack sufficient safety awareness. Moreover, due to the language barrier and unfamiliar culture, they lack the understanding of some specific tasks given to them. Therefore, safety training and handbooks have become a necessity. Although there are safety signs and rules already posted at construction sites, as communication and cooperation is of utmost importance, the city government created the Foreign Workers’ Safety Handbook to remind everyone once again of the importance of safety.
The Foreign Workers’ Safety Handbook describes the basic safety rules that must be followed to protect the lives of foreign workers and prevent accidents on construction sites. The handbook was designed in cartoon format to make it easier for foreign workers to understand. In addition, its small pocket-book size (9x14cm, 100 pages) allows the workers to carry and read it anywhere at any time.