Environmental cleanup personnel work very hard to clean up public areas and their work schedules are often adjusted to accommodate the lives of the public and governmental policies. In early mornings or late evenings, every day, cleanup crews operate garbage trucks, sweep the streets, clean the ditches, and remove illegal advertisements. After typhoons, they face risks when cleaning up branches, trees, and signs fallen on the street. Should an accident happen, the families of these workers could lose financial and life support, and the education and lives of their children could become a problem.
The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) cares for the safety and welfare of the staff of cleanup crews. Since 1999, in order to take care of the related personnel who actually participate in waste clearance, disposal, and environmental maintenance such as the cleanup personnel, technicians, drivers, part-time workers, and temporary workers, the EPA utilized the "Guidelines Governing the Use of Income from Resource Recycling and Trading" and "Air Pollution Control Fund," as well as set up the "Relief Fund Committee for Occupational Death of Cleanup Staff" to compensate families of cleanup personnel who have died in the line of duty, or on the way to or from work. This frees workers from such concerns. From July 1999 to June 30, 2007, 131 relief cases have been made.
To lower the accident rate of cleanup staff on duty, the EPA has actively conducted work safety and health education trainings for team leaders, deputy team leaders, and squad leaders island-wide. As of 30 June 2007, 10 sessions and 605 people have participated in the trainings. It is expected to help leaders of cleanup units to be more aware of their responsibilities, to carry out the pre-duty education and safety knowledge explanation, and to enforce supervision during duty. To coordinate with the "233 Project for Disaster Mitigation in the Workplace" promulgated by the Executive Yuan in January 2006, the EPA enacted the "Promotion Plan for Disaster Mitigation in the Workplace." Two thousand copies of "Disaster Mitigation in the Environmental Protection Workplace" poster were printed, reports on death toll (from July 1998 to June 2006) were extracted where causes of accidents were reviewed and analyzed, and then 2,000 copies of the "Death Case Report of Cleanup Staff on Duty" were published and sent to cleanup units, refuse incineration plants, and landfills under each county government and township office to campaign on the importance of disaster mitigation. Furthermore, the EPA continues to call for public awareness of the work safety of the cleanup staff through media in hopes that through the help of the public, workplace injuries to cleanup staff can be minimized. In addition, to enhance the educational and caring responsibilities of the local governments, the EPA began listing accident mortality cases of cleanup staff as a point deduction item in the evaluation of the local government performance in 2006 and 2007.
In order to take good care of the 29,000 environmental protection workers, besides calling on donations to replenish funds for continuous assistance to families of the cleanup staff who died of accidents on duty, the EPA further amended Article 8 and 9 of the "Rules Governing the Relief Fund Committee for Occupational Death of Cleanup Staff" on 14 March 2007 in response to various uncertain points in the Rules. The amendment clearly proclaims the receiving of the relief fund shall be confined to the families of cleanup staff who die of accidents on duty and excludes those who die of diseases, overwork, sudden death, and suicide. The amount of relief was increased to NT$1.2 million for those who died in the line of duty and NT$600,000 for those who died while commuting to or from work.
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)