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July 29, 2017

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Inspection of New Taipei's paint industry yields shocking results

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The New Taipei City Labor Standards Inspection Office (新北市政府勞動檢查處) yesterday revealed in a preliminary inspection report that all coating, dye and paint manufacturers in the city are in violation of health and safety regulations.

Of the 20 manufactures within the New Taipei City jurisdiction, none was able to pass health and safety inspections, the office revealed in the report. The report also indicated that all 20 manufacturers together have accumulated up to 120 violations and have since been warned to improve the situation within the given time. Two manufactures, however, were shut down as a result of severe hazards.

The results of the inspection showed that employers failed in up to 30 different categories of safety violations, of which improper waste disposal made up 40 percent. Other violations included the failure to issue proper safety gear and failure to conduct proper training in case of a hazardous situation. As the violations are all severe because they are tightly linked to the safety of laborers, the inspection office has stated that it will fine all manufactures between NT$30,000 and NT$300,000 until the situation show improvement.

Labor Standards Inspection Office Promotes Safety

According to the inspection office, the manufacturing processes of coating, dye and paint require large quantities of organic solvents such as Toluene and Xylene. Hazardous gases and scattered dust are the byproducts of production and can enter the body through contact with the skin or through the nose and mouth. Should laborers be subjected to long-term exposure, damage to the lungs and other organs are possible.

In accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (職業安全衛生法), occupational diseases are considered hazards punishable by law should employers fail to provide employees with necessary precautions. The act serves as the reason why the New Taipei City government has begun to conduct such inspections for the sake of workers, said an inspection office representative.

The representative later appealed to manufacturers, stating that to prevent hazardous byproducts from creating long-term negative effects to the health of their employees, employers should do their best in guaranteeing the following three securities: conduct proper labeling and regular inspections of high risk materials, provide proper protection to workers including personal gear and proper factory safety installations and the implementation of proper job and safety training in hazardous labor environments.

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