Tragedy Caused by Negligence of Safety Management
Tragedy Caused by Negligence of Safety Management
  • Reporter Yang Seo-Yeon
  • 승인 2022.11.13 01:09
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▲Workers using food mixers / KBS NEWS
▲Workers using food mixers / KBS NEWS

 On Oct. 15, a worker at a baking factory of SPL, a subsidiary of SPC, was stuck into a sandwich sauce mixer machine and died on the spot. Initially, when opening the cover of the machine, an automatic protection device called an interlock stops the machine. This, however, was not installed. This accident caused caused public outrage toward the SPC because they had shown irresponsible behavior, such as merely stopping work on machines without an interlock after the accident while proceeding with the source mixing work using the remaining two units.
 Eight days after the deadly accident, another worker was injured in the SPC affiliated factory. On Oct. 23, his finger was cut off from being stuck in a machine that carried a bread box. Six workers were confirmed to have died during these mixer operations in the last five years. Most of these tragedies were caused by machines with insufficient safety devices. 
 On September 2020, a worker had an accident while cleaning a chili powder mixer on a day off work. On November 2017, a worker died in an accident after being sucked into a grinder connected to a rice mixer. They did not die instantly after the accident. The opportunity to live was missed because the time to be taken to the hospital was postponed due to the delay in recognizing the accident. According to the Kukmin Ilbo, the workers argued that it is necessary to adjust the work method to recognize accidents faster by working in pairs. 
 After the SPC accident, labor groups joined the signature movement calling for the stopping of long-term and unfair labor, and preparing of safety measures. They point out that SPC is at fault in this case, but the government also is at fault for not properly establishing safety measures.
 The government or local governments need to pay attention to many factories that do not repair old machines and do not install safety devices. In addition, managers need to take responsibility for the safety of their workers. If they conduct safety checks frequently, these tragic accidents will be reduced.
 In the wake of this incident, the Ministry of Employment and Labor decided to supervise industrial safety and check structural causes such as harmful risk factors on site and safety management systems, saying they would try to find and improve internal structural problems and prevent repeated industrial accidents.