30th Korea Gas Safety Awards

A festival for the public and gas industry workers 백종원 기자l승인2023.12.15l수정2023.12.15 11:40

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South Korea localized LPG containers in 1967, and gas stoves began to be distributed to households in 1974. Since the early 90s, the city gas system, which delivers natural gas through wires instead of using traditional LPG containers, has been in place, and the entire country, including Jeju Island, now uses the gas grid. However, the dangers have also increased. As a highly combustible, gas posed a fire hazard, and gas asphyxiation has been known to occur. As a result, many people have been working to make gas safe to use. The Korea Gas Safety Awards, therefore, recognizes companies, individuals, and organizations for their efforts and is a festive occasion for the public and gas industry workers to come together. Monthly PowerKorea paid a visit to the event.

 

Protecting people’s lives and property from gas accidents

Contributing to the advancement of the gas industry

The 30th Korea Gas Safety Awards, held at the 63rd Building in Seoul on April 29, honored those who have contributed to gas safety and development. The event was hosted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and organized by the Korea Gas Safety Corporation. The corporation has been responsible for gas safety management in Korea for over 48 years, reducing gas accidents to the lowest level in the world. In 1995, when there were 13.95 million households using gas in Korea, there were 577 accidents, but in 2022, when the number of households nearly doubled to 24.57 million, the number of accidents decreased by more than one-eighth to 73. In addition, it has been continuously communicating and innovating to help domestic companies improve their technological capabilities and secure global competitiveness. The corp is fostering safety management professionals through the dissemination of gas safety knowledge and expertise as its main business, and conducts statutory inspections of gas facilities and products, construction supervision of city gas supply facilities, review and evaluation of corporate safety management plans, and frequent inspections and safety inspections of gas facilities.  It also trains specialized personnel and provides statutory training for safety managers. The training is field-oriented and hands-on, and the organization also promotes public awareness and prevention of gas accidents.

 

Korea Gas Safety Awards

Commitment to innovation to keep people safe and industry moving forward

The Korea Gas Safety Awards were first held in 1994. The event is the only government award in the gas industry, and it is an important occasion to reinforce the commitment to gas safety among the meritorious people and organizations. Korea Gas Safety Corporation’s acting president Lee Soo-Boo said in a statement: “The corp will always be with you in innovation, find and improve gas safety hazards, and boldly abolish unnecessary regulations. Among gas accidents, the three major accidents that cause the most casualties are CO poisoning, butane combustion, and poor prevention measures. Therefore, we are promoting the mandatory installation of CO alarms, the installation of butane cans as explosion prevention devices, and the development and distribution of safety cocks for blocking measures. We are also innovating safety management methods suitable for AI and digital platforms.” Currently, about 40 percent of the city gas pipes installed nationwide are more than 20 years old, and the corp conducts regular inspections, precision safety diagnosis, and management of the pipes. It said it will expand the scope of precision safety inspections to non-urban areas, introduce advanced equipment, and work closely with the government to further accelerate the maintenance of old pipes as well as the development of safety technologies. In May, the government announced the ‘Hydrogen Safety Management Roadmap 2.0’ centered on clean hydrogen. Lee said, “The corp will continue to develop proactive safety standards, innovate regulations, and strengthen management capabilities as the lead agency for hydrogen safety to respond quickly to rapidly changing market and corporate demands. This will allow people to use hydrogen with peace of mind and help Korea lead the global hydrogen industry.”

 

Special exhibits and on-screen congratulatory messages

A festival to celebrate gas safety practice

Attended at the event were key figures from various fields, including Park Chan-ki, Director of Hydrogen Economy Policy at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Kim Seong-won and Kin Ham-jeong of the National Assembly Committee on Trade, Industry and Energy, Small and Medium Venture Business Committee, Park Ji-hyun, President of Korea Electrical Safety Corporation, and Park Yong-sook, CEO of the Citizens’ Association for Safe Living, as well as gas industry workers and award winners. Park said, “The number of gas incidents and casualties this year are at an all-time low, with 90% fewer incidents and 95% fewer casualties compared to 1995, when they were at an all-time high. This achievement is due to the strong sense of duty of the gas industry. I would like to thank the 2,987 people who have contributed over the past 29 years and the 108 recipients of today’s awards, as well as the gas industry who are here today, and I ask you to continue working hard in the future.” A total of 108 awards were presented at the event. The highest honor, the Silver Tower Industry Medal, was awarded to Deoksik Choi, Chairman of Sinheung Energy Industry. Choi is the first generation of the LPG filling industry in Korea and has been contributing to the safe supply of LPG for about 50 years, as well as contributing to the safety management of filling stations. The industrial medal was awarded to Kim Young-tae, CEO of Hyeopchang Construction, who has been promoting safety management measures to prevent poor construction for 39 years, and Cha Bong-geun, general manager of Samchully, who contributed to securing public safety and improving the level of safety management by promoting user city gas facility improvement. This year’s event featured a special exhibition space and a commemorative video screening, and congratulatory messages from past winners were screened as videos, adding to the meaning of the event. In addition, gas safety performances and congratulatory performances were held, and the event ended as a festival where the public and gas industry workers gathered together to pledge to make gas safety a way of life.


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