A court has sentenced a company representative to a suspended prison sentence for an accident in which a worker died at a new construction site in Seocho-gu, Seoul.

This is the first conviction case against a representative of a company in Seoul since the enactment of the Serious Accident Punishment Act.

Judge Lee Jong-min of the Criminal Division 3 of the Seoul Central District Court today (21st) sentenced Lee Mo (68), the representative of Company A, who was charged with violating the Serious Accident Punishment Act (industrial accident fatality), to one year in prison and two years of probation.

The company was fined 1 million won.

The court ruled that "all the evidence is sufficient to convict him of all charges" and that "he took into consideration the fact that he made a safety and health plan after the accident, assessed the risks, vowed not to re-offend, and reached an amicable agreement with the bereaved family."

Mr. Lee and the company were indicted in June for failing to fulfill their obligations to ensure safety and health at a new construction site in Seocho-gu, Seoul, on March 2 last year, resulting in the death of a worker, Mr. B.

In its indictment, the prosecution said it was the first case of an industrial accident in Seoul to prosecute a representative for violating the Serious Accident Punishment Act.

Mr. B fell and died while doing painting work on site.

At that time, it was investigated that basic safety measures such as wearing safety belts and fall protection facilities were not implemented.

When the on-site safety manager resigned four months before the accident, it was found that the head office staff was nominally designated as the safety manager instead of hiring a successor, citing the burden of labor costs and the shortage of job vacancies.

Prior to the accident, the company was repeatedly criticized by the Employment and Labor Administration for its lack of fall protection facilities, and was fined dozens of times.

The Serious Accident Punishment Act, which was enacted in 5 and came into effect last year, stipulates that in the event of a serious accident with one or more fatalities, business owners who fail to fulfill their obligations to prevent accidents will be punished with imprisonment for at least one year or a fine of not more than 3 billion won.

(Photo = Yonhap News)