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CEO sentenced to prison over worker death in 1st such decision

All News 11:51 April 26, 2023

CHANGWON, South Korea, April 26 (Yonhap) -- The CEO of Hankook Steel & Mill Co. was sentenced to one year in prison and put behind bars Wednesday in connection with the death of a worker at its plant, becoming the first corporate head to be punished with a prison term for lax industrial safety controls.

The Changwon District Court's branch in the southeastern city of Masan, about 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, convicted the CEO of providing insufficient safety measures in connection with the death of an employee in March last year.

The CEO was arrested at the courtroom and put into prison upon sentencing.

The worker in his 60s died at the company's plant in the nearby Haman county after his legs were crushed below a 1.2-ton steel plate.

It marks the first time a corporate head has been imprisoned for violating the Serious Accidents Punishment Act under which business owners or CEOs of companies with 50 or more employees are subject to at least one year in prison or up to 1 billion won (US$747,663) in fines in the event of deadly on-duty disasters caused by lax workplace safety measures. The law went into force in January 2022.

The Changwon District Court's Masan branch (Yonhap)

The Changwon District Court's Masan branch (Yonhap)


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