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[labor news] Fatal accidents in shipbuilding industry found fundamentally attributable to multilayer subletting practice
▲ Jung Ki-hoon(archive photo)/The Labor Today

The Labor Today came to know on August 30 that a public participation committee which was formed to investigate the fatalities and serious injuries in the shipbuilding industry in November last year wrapped up its activities with the submission of a final report.

"As long as the occupational safety and health is concerned, the matter should not be bound to the 'frame of the contracts'. Efforts should be made to identify the main actors who effectively control and manage the dangers of industrial accidents, moving beyond the concept of the rights and obligations of the contracting parties. Therefore, it would be appropriate to land the identified main actors with the responsibilities and obligations."

The final report of 'the People Participation Investigation Committee on the Fatalities and Serious Injuries in the Shipbuilding Industry' came to the conclusion that "in order to resolve the fundamental causes of the industrial accidents in the shipbuilding industry, the multilayer subletting practice should be forbidden and only in cases deemed necessary, it may be allowed under the restricted conditions." The committee pinpointed the subletting practice by the subcontractors as the most significant cause of industrial accidents in the shipbuilding industry.

According to the committee, an explosion accident at STX Offshore and Shipbuilding which claimed four lives in August last year occurred in the process of the entangled web of multilayer subcontracting system. Four workers who lost their lives were all hired by a small coating work firm which had a subletting contract with another subcontractor company specializing the painting in the confined spaces of the ship tanks.

Another accident of crane crushes at Samsung Heavy Industries occurred in May last year which killed six workers and injured many others was also confirmed as a case of the outsourcing of the dangers. Of 1,623 working at the accident site of the shipyard at that time, 9.8%(159 workers) were the employees of Samsung Heavy Industries and the rest of 90.2%(1,464 workers) were hired by the 15 subcontractor companies. It is inferred that many of subcontract workers belonged to the subletting companies.

reported by Kim Mi-young
translated by Kim Sung-jin

번역 김성진  goyong1472@gmail.com

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