Not long ago, a worker in her 20s was caught in a sauce mixer and died at an SPC affiliate (SPL) baking plant famous for brands such as Paris Baguette, Baskin Robbins, and Dunkin Donuts. The death of a worker of my age, who died in an accident that occurred since the working environment was not guaranteed, made me infuriated. In particular, SPC’s unusual response to operate the factory covering the site with a white cloth only the day after the accident and sending Paris Baguette bread as funeral goods to the mortuary where the deceased employee is can only be seen as a complete disregard for industrial accidents and workers’ values.
Someone raises a question if the cause of the industrial accident is entirely on the company. It is said that workers’ insensitivity to safety may be the cause. Of course, it is difficult to say that “disaster” is totally the responsibility of the company since it is an “accident” forever. However, the company is responsible for accidents at workplaces. In this context, the “no fault liability principle” that accidents which occur at workplaces should be held accountable even if there is no fault of the company becomes the grand principle of labor law. Therefore, the presence or absence of workers’ insensitivity to safety acts as a factor to alleviate the employer’s responsibility, but it does not exempt them from responsibility. In particular, workers’ industrial accidents are difficult to recognize as 100% immunity because the company has an educational obligation as a user and an obligation to protect safety.
For this reason, I think industrial accidents such as the SPC death accident, the KORAIL death accident, and the Hyundai Outlet fire accident are obvious man-made disasters and accidents that could have been sufficiently prevented. The Severe Disaster Punishment Act has been in effect since January this year, however, the number of deaths has occurred and increased. For this reason, the reality is that the Serious Disaster Act, which strengthened the manager’s responsibility for industrial accidents, is spreading to useless theory along with controversy over its effectiveness. The Serious Disaster Act is a law that strengthens managers’ responsibility for the safety of industrial sites to reduce workers’ accidents even a little. Nevertheless, companies have been busy to avoid punishment rather than prevention because it is difficult to apply to industrial sites.
In other words, uncertainty and unreality are risks, not the will and the cost. The main agent is in the dark. The government’s commentary openly reveals its irresponsible attitude avoiding key issues and making judgments on each case. As there is no predictability, prevention disappears and the legacy of old consequence responsibility is taking its place, which means punishment. Therefore, it is important to supplement the law to increase its effectiveness, but also the spread of a safety culture that prioritizes safety for both employers and workers should be preceded. Punishment-oriented industrial safety laws and policies make companies unable to prevent industrial accidents on their own. Efforts are needed to supplement the problems without undermining the essential purpose of the Serious Disaster Act that prevents disasters at industrial sites.
Kim Da-young firstname.lastname@example.org
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