February 24, 2020 / OO Kim / Affiliated with a subcontractor / died while installing plywood

April 16, 2020 / OO Kim / Affiliated with Hyundai Heavy Industries / Died in a hatch

April 21, 2020 / OO Jeong / Hyundai Heavy Industry / Died after being caught in a big door

May 21, 2020 / OO Kim / Affiliated with a subcontractor / Died from suffocation by argon gas

February 5, 2021 / OO Kang / Worked at Hyundai Heavy Industries / Died in a collision with an iron plate

5, 2021 Month 8 / OO Jang / Affiliated with a subcontractor / Died while moving welding work

These are the workers who have died in industrial accidents since last year at Hyundai Heavy Industries.

In the past 5 years, there have been 27 serious disasters in this area.

On Mother's Day on the 8th, a 40-year-old subcontractor worker at Hyundai Heavy Industries' Ulsan Shipyard fell 20 meters down and died while moving to welding.

As the fatal accidents were repeated, the Ministry of Employment and Labor issued special supervision to Hyundai Heavy Industries from May 17th to 28th.

Last year, as a series of fatal accidents occurred in April, the Ministry of Employment and Labor conducted special supervision, but a suffocation accident occurred the day after the supervision ended, killing another worker.

When a fatal accident occurred in February of this year, the Ministry of Labor conducted intensive supervision, and this time, it was the first time in three months to take special supervision.

Although the Ministry of Employment and Labor's post-mortem supervision continues, why can't accidents be prevented?

In response to these questions, SBS obtained the document 'Report on the results of special supervision of Hyundai Heavy Industries' last year through the office of Rep. Lee Eun-ju of the Justice Party.

Analysis of this report revealed problems that made it difficult for a one-time special supervisor to prevent accidents.

'Insufficient fall prevention' was pointed out several times, but...

death again

Words warning of the recent fall of a 40-year-old worker, Mr. Jang, appeared throughout the report.

In a special inspection in May last year, Hyundai Heavy Industries was found to have violated 58 laws due to poor fall prevention measures.

Scaffolding used as scaffolding when working at heights is worn out or damaged by deformation.

Safety handrails are not installed in hazardous areas such as block tops, quay walls, movable passageways, or openings.

Non-installation of safety rails is also a problem pointed out in the intensive supervision of Hyundai Heavy Industries conducted over February and March of this year.

However, on May 8, the cause of death of Mr. Jang, who was going to welding, fell from a mobile passage and was again pointed out that there was no safety rail.

In May of last year, a total of 580 cases were pointed out as insufficient safety management in the special supervision, and a fine of 152 million won was imposed.

In the intensive supervision in February and March of this year, 181 cases were caught and a fine of 107 million won was imposed.

They said they were "promoting a detention investigation" and couldn't even prosecute for a year

Last year's report on the results of special supervision recorded the policy of 'severe punishment'. I refer to Article 63 of the Amended Industrial Safety Act (Safety and Health Measures of the Primary Agency), stating that violations of the primary agency's safety measures will be severely punished for the death of a subcontractor's worker. It seems that he was conscious of the 'Kim Yong-gyun Act' introduced in the wake of the death of the late Kim Yong-gyun, an irregular worker who died at the age of 24 at the Taean Thermal Power Plant. The amended Article 63 of the Sanan Act is a provision that allows the main contractor to be held liable for industrial accidents in response to the criticism that large corporations 'outsource risk' to subcontractors.

Report that the Ministry of Employment and Labor will apply the provisions of this law to pursue an investigation into the arrest of the head of the shipbuilding division of Hyundai Heavy Industries (then vice president level) in relation to the asphyxiation of an employee of a subcontractor of Hyundai Heavy Industries within a few months after the Kim Yong-gyun Act went into effect in January last year wrote on It is recorded that consultations with the Ulsan District Prosecutor's Office are in progress.

Contrary to the report that expressed strong will towards the person in charge of the original office at the time of the special supervision, no actual punishment was taken. The trial could not start as there has not been even an indictment even after a year has passed, let alone an arrest investigation. In April and May of last year, the relevant ministries reported how the person responsible for the three fatal accidents at Hyundai Heavy Industries was being punished, but no place gave a clear answer.

An official from the Busan Regional Employment and Labor Office of the Ministry of Employment and Labor in charge of special supervision of Hyundai Heavy Industries said, "After special supervision in May of last year, it was sent to the prosecution with an opinion of indictment." . Contrary to the report that said that they would investigate the arrest, it was not confirmed whether they were punished or prosecuted after the actual special supervision.

An official from the Ulsan District Prosecutor's Office said, "The prosecution has not yet been made against the three fatal accidents that were sent to the special supervision a year ago. No,” he replied.

According to the union, about 460 people have died in industrial accidents so far at Hyundai Heavy Industries, but only one person was arrested in 2004, when five serious accidents occurred within a month.

Even at that time, it was limited to the arrest of the person in charge of safety, not the head of the business division or the company president.

In addition to Hyundai Heavy Industries, it is rare to receive a prison sentence for an industrial accident.

In 2019, after the Kim Yong-gyun Act was passed, of the 705 cases indicted for violating the Occupational Safety and Health Act and processed in the first trial, the highest was fines (524 cases (75%)), and probation accounted for 102 cases (14%). .

Only 0.28% were sentenced to imprisonment in two cases.

"The first head office inspection in the manufacturing industry"...

The president has already declared safety management

In recent years, society's perception of new industrial accidents has changed. In the wake of the incidents of those who died while working, legislation took place in the wake of the deaths of Kim Gun at Guui Station, Taean Thermal Power Plant Kim Yong-gyun, Kim Jae-soon who died at a shredder at the Chosun Wood Factory, and Lee Seon-ho, who recently died under a container in Pyeongtaek Port.

After the 'Kim Yong-gyun Act', the Ministry of Employment and Labor, which mentioned the "detention investigation" last year, emphasized the "headquarters leadership check" this year when the Serious Accident Company Punishment Act was passed. After the fall of Hyundai Heavy Industries on May 8, the Ministry of Employment and Labor issued a press release, which announced special supervision for two weeks. It was advertised as 'the first in the manufacturing industry to conduct a parallel monitoring of the safety and health management system analysis at the head office and site'.

However, in last year's Special Supervision Report, we have already investigated the perception of safety management of the headquarters' leadership. The report analyzed that the president of Hyundai Heavy Industries lacked the authority to make practical decisions on issues that are directly related to safety but have a significant impact on production efficiency. In other words, the chairman of the Hyundai Heavy Industries group, not the CEO or president of each division of Hyundai Heavy Industries, has the actual decision-making power. In the special supervision report, it is written that 'the chairman of Hyundai Heavy Industries is promoting a plan to declare safety management externally and establish measures to prevent recurrence'. The safety awareness check of the CEO of the headquarters, which was promoted by the special supervision for the first time this year, was also partially carried out at the time of last year.

In fact, right after the special supervision last year, Hyundai Heavy Industries Group Chairman Kwon Oh-gap declared safety management and announced that he would invest 300 billion won in safety management for three years.

Even with the president's expression of opinion, it was impossible to prevent the deaths of two other people within a year.

Kim Hyung-gyun, head of Hyundai Heavy Industries' labor union policy planning department, said, "300 billion won over three years is not a big expense if it is divided into one year for each affiliate. "It wasn't a new investment in prevention," he said.

Follow-up management is more important than supervision...

Ensure workers' right to participate

In the event of a fatal accident, the Ministry of Employment and Labor foretells intense special supervision. In particular, after the Kim Yong-gyun Act and the Severe Accident Punishment Act are passed, he mentions 'strict measures' and says that he will carry out active guidance and supervision. What was revealed last year in the Special Supervision Report is that the supervision of the Ministry of Employment and Labor is still in the form of one-off supervision.

The union of Hyundai Heavy Industries pointed out that supervisors who were in charge of special supervision were dispatched from other places and had no prior knowledge of shipbuilding sites. Instead of the supervisors who were rushed out as special supervisors, they demanded that supervisors with expertise stayed in place to supervise the safety management situation.

“The shipbuilding industry has similar characteristics to the construction industry,” said Kim Hyung-gyun, head of Hyundai Heavy Industries’ union policy planning department. Even if there is an accident and supervision is performed every time, it is only corrected at that time, and it is difficult to have proper safety facilities in another workshop where a new ship is built due to the cost of subcontractors.

"It is important to properly supervise, but it is even more important to check how the measures have been taken according to the results of the supervision," said Prosecutor Jeol-chan Lee, who works as a team leader for Minbyun's workers' health rights. Lawyer Sohn said, "The current supervision method is a method in which the employer and the labor inspector play tag. The employer tries to hide the illegality as much as possible, and the inspector only comes to find and point out hundreds of cases when an accident occurs. Punishment is a lower-level manager The supervision is over when the level is weak and the supervisor confirms that the points have been improved. But after a while, the fatal accident repeats again."

Lawyer Sohn's opinion is that workers' right to participate is important for the supervision method to be effective. It is necessary to establish a process that actively reflects the opinions of field workers in labor supervision, and to give the union or field workers the authority to monitor the results of implementation. Lawyer Sohn said, "The model of government monitoring of employers has reached its limits. Because there are too many work sites and different work methods, labor supervision alone cannot prevent occupational accidents on a regular basis. Workers and unions participate in supervision, and work It should be guaranteed so that the right of cessation can be used practically.”