No causal links to overwork found in couriers’ deaths: preliminary review

SEOUL, Preliminary forensic studies into the recent deaths of parcel delivery workers have yielded no clear evidence that links their deaths to overwork, the police said Thursday.
Preliminary results of the National Forensic Service’s autopsies on the bodies of six couriers who died this year produced no clear evidence linking the deaths to excessive work, according to the National Police Agency.
The police said they are waiting for the final autopsy reports. “Among the deceased included those with underlying symptoms in the heart and brain,” an agency official said.
This year alone, 14 parcel delivery workers have died in cases claimed to be related to overwork, according to a couriers’ advocacy group, as the new coronavirus outbreak triggered a surge in online shopping and parcel volumes.
Logistics companies have scrambled to announce measures to improve working conditions, with industry leader CJ Logistics pledging to hire 4,000 more workers in phases to handle only the sorting of parcels and set an appropriate daily workload based on expert recommendations.
A 2018 report by the Korea Transport Institute showed that delivery drivers worked 12.7 hours a day and 25.6 days each month on average. This translates to much longer working hours compared with the 52-hour workweek scheme mandated by the government.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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