Korean Industries Stand at a Critical Crossroads
Korean Industries Stand at a Critical Crossroads
  • Choi Min-sik
  • 승인 2022.04.05 17:54
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Purpose of SAPA (Provided by Isan labor office)
Purpose of SAPA (Provided by Isan labor office)

  Public opinion says that punishment for industrial accidents is weak. From January 27, 2022 “The Serious Accidents Punishment Act (SAPA)” was implemented. SAPA is a law that strengthens criminal penalties in the event of industrial accidents that cause serious casualties. SAPA was established to prevent persistent fatal accidents resulting from the lack of a stable working environment.
  SAPA is divided into industrial and civil accidents. First, serious industrial accidents correspond to cases in which more than one person died, two or more injuries, and three or more acute poisonings caused by accidents while working in industrial areas. Serious civil disasters correspond to more than one death, more than ten injuries, and more than ten diseases resulting from accidents among citizens using public facilities. SAPA is regarded as a wide range of laws, and the details need to be discussed through subsequent regulations.
  Many companies responded quickly to prevent substantial punishment after the implementation of SAPA. For example, Coupang, a Korean electric commerce corporation that experienced a big fire disaster at the Coupang distribution center in Incheon, started to change their work environment. Several Chief Security Officers (CSOs) were recruited to that end. Each company will make efforts to create safety precautions for a safe work environment.
  The first application of SAPA in Korea is in the incident involving three contraband workers who were buried in the collapse at the Sampyo Industrial Quarry in Yangju, Gyeonggi-do. Because of the symbolism of “first investigation,” all eyes will be on this tragedy. Currently, the Ministry of Labor plans to investigate whether the headquarters of Sampyo Industrial have properly established measures to prevent the recurrence of industrial accidents and whether a safety and health management system has been established. The results of the trial, including punishment, will have a significant impact on other major disaster law investigations. 

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