Construction sites made safer by stop-work authority

In any industry these days, safety is the top priority. This is particularly true in industries where heavy equipment is used and work is done at great heights, such as in the construction sector, and it is why efforts to prevent accidents are essential.

Around the world, construction companies are pressing forward with efforts to create safe worksites by expanding risk awareness, strengthening regulations, and establishing a general culture of safety. Samsung C&T Engineering & Construction Group is at the center of such efforts.

Worker's stop-work authority fully guaranteed

In March 2021, Samsung C&T Engineering & Construction Group announced its intention to pursue safe shared growth while fully protecting workers’ stop-work authority. Stop-work authority is the right and power by a worker on a construction site to cease all activity in a certain area if there is a risk or hazard. Work continues only when the situation has been checked and safety can be assured.

Since then, there has been a total of almost 53,000 instances of stop-work authority being exercised at 113 sites, or an average of 70 cases per day. This shows that a safety culture centered on worker participation is rapidly taking root at Samsung C&T’s construction sites.

Forty percent of the uses of stop-work authority involved a request for safety measures to prevent falls and struck-by accidents, both major types of serious hazard at construction sites. From this it can be seen that workers’ rights to exercise stop-work authority play an important role in preventing safety accidents, and Samsung C&T E&C Group’s efforts are a good example.

Additionally, even when there is no imminent risk, Samsung C&T actively guarantees the right of workers to exercise this authority if they judge that an environment or situation is unsafe, rewarding workers who use it and compensating partners for potential losses incurred.

The above results of a survey conducted by Samsung C&T demonstrate that 90% of workers agreed that stop-work authority is helpful for site safety.

A civil engineer named Seo In-soo at a Samsung C&T E&C Group construction site in Gyeonggi Province spoke of his experience, saying, “When I was working on the ground I saw a crane lifting heavy construction materials nearby, so I exercised my stop-work authority, and immediately that work section was made safe.” Seo added, “This gave me the feeling that construction site workers are respected and the belief that this authority gives me the right to protect myself from possible accidents.”

Accelerating a range of safety precautions

In addition to legal requirements, Samsung C&T budgets safety reinforcement expenses according to the judgment of site managers, with about 50 billion won spent on Korean sites alone over the past two years.

In addition, to monitor on-site risk factors from multiple angles, Samsung C&T’s safety control team at the head office keeps an eye on the situation in real time by means of 249 CCTVs. Furthermore, a total of 63,230 employees belonging to Samsung C&T and partner companies have completed safety training at the Safety Academy within the company’s Construction Safety Research Institute established in 2022.

Moreover, a Design For Safety system was introduced by Samsung C&T to eliminate safety risks in the design stage. Samsung C&T is expanding its investment in accident prevention technology by developing 22 types of smart safety tech and applying them to construction sites.

To support the establishment of safety and health systems among partner companies, Samsung C&T E&C Group provides consulting in areas such as manager roles and responsibilities and risk assessment, helping partner companies to raise their level of safety management as well.

Additionally, Samsung C&T gives priority of bid participation opportunities to partners with excellent safety standards and pays them 100% of their safety management expenses in advance, encouraging them to actively invest in safety from the very beginning of the construction process.

Pioneering safety culture in the industry​

Samsung C&T plans to continue providing professional manpower and technology to prevent accidents at construction sites in advance and to spread the autonomous safety management activities of workers and partners throughout the construction industry.

The goal of Samsung C&T Engineering & Construction Group is to ensure that people can work in a safe environment without needlessly worrying about safety while doing so.

To this end, the Group is doing its best to not overlook any risks, no matter how insignificant, as well as to guarantee workers’ rights to exercise stop-work authority, while at the same time allocating budget and developing relevant technology. With all this, the Group is a pioneer in the establishment of a safety culture in the construction industry.

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