In Beitun District, Taichung City, a Vietnamese migrant worker died in an industrial safety incident in a large-scale construction project. He was hired to participate in the construction of a building, and when he was demolishing an elevator shaft at a height of 12 floors, he fell. The Labor Bureau of the Taichung City Government received a report and went to investigate. It was found that the elevator shaft at the construction site had not installed safety nets in accordance with the regulations. Obviously, the manufacturer in charge of the project did not supervise well and did not take good safety measures on the construction site, which led to the tragedy.
The director of the Taichung City Labor Bureau, Mr. Zhang, pointed out that according to their judgment after the inspection when the deceased Vietnamese migrant worker was working in the elevator shaft on the 12th floor, the formwork manufacturer of the project did not implement the requirements to allow him to use safety belts and safety nets were not installed at the formwork work site of the elevator shaft, which is a complete violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. In addition, the migrant worker did not have a permit to work on-site at the construction site.
The manufacturer's mistake resulted in the death of an undocumented migrant worker. The Labor Bureau is now dealing with it according to the law, ordering them to suspend work and investigate the criminal responsibility for the wrongful death case.
The Labor Bureau of the Taichung City Government appealed that the work on construction sites, especially high places, is extremely dangerous, and a little carelessness may lead to disasters. Public institutions should do a good job of equipment inspection and various related safety protections before the project starts, and facilities to prevent workers from falling or other accidents, otherwise it is a violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Law. If so, the manufacturer which is in charge must be ordered to stop work according to law, and a fine of up to 300,000 yuan can also be imposed. Maintaining the safety of field workers is absolutely imperative.
In recent years, Taiwan's construction industry has faced a serious shortage of workers, which has also affected the employment environment for migrant workers in Taiwan. Various market changes, especially after the epidemic, the investment of Taiwanese businessmen back to Taiwan has exploded, the number of cases in various industrial zones has increased sharply, the stock market boom has driven up housing prices, and several re-zoning areas in Taipei and New Taipei have entered the peak of opening cases. The number of cases, including many public housing projects, has gradually increased, making the long-standing labor shortage problem in the construction industry more and more serious.
According to the Department of Labor Employment Services Database, there are about 120,000 labor vacancies in the construction industry, and manufacturers seek three times as many job seekers as job seekers. Due to the increasing number of large-scale public projects, such as TSMC's announcement of plant expansion, high-tech factories in Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung Science Park have sprung up like mushrooms. The same is true for transportation development projects such as rail projects in various places. In the north, there is the expansion of the Circular Line in the New Taipei area and the undergrounding of the railway in Taoyuan; in the south, the expansion of Kaohsiung Light Rail Transit and the Yellow Line is in full swing. Behind a large number of projects, it highlights the problem that the supply of manpower cannot keep up with the demand.
In addition, in Taiwan's society with a declining birth rate and aging population, there are no skilled workers in the construction industry who have successors, and there are no young employees on construction sites, almost all of them are over 50 years old. Although there are 700,000 foreign migrant workers recruited in Taiwan, less than 1% of them can actually be employed in the construction industry. Even though the Department of Labor Employment has been lowering the standards for importing migrant workers for public works and private economic and construction projects, the economies of countries that export labor are also taking off, and the number of construction-related manpower that can be exported is not as much as expected. Compared with other countries with globalization and aging, the wages that Taiwanese construction companies can provide to foreign workers are not as high as Japan and South Korea.
The above-mentioned dilemma makes many Taiwanese construction companies prefer to take risks to find undocumented laborers. Most of them are foreign migrant workers without official licenses. The underground black market vacancies often make these migrant workers trapped in the imperfect facility and the danger of extremely poor working conditions.
2023-01-12 16:35 / UDN / Reporter 胡華勝、林仕祥、陳思豪 / Taichung
2023/05/06 17:51 / LTN / Reporter 蔡淑媛 / Taichung
2023-05-06 11:21 / UDN / Reporter 趙容萱 / Taichung