SEOUL, Oct. 30 (Yonhap) -- Business owners in South Korea will face a prison term of up to 10 years if a fatal industrial accident occurs due to their failure to take safety and health measures, the Ministry of Employment and Labor said Tuesday.
The ministry said the tougher punishment for business owners over the accidental death of workers at industrial sites will be implemented as the Cabinet meeting approved a revision of the Industrial Safety and Health Act in the morning.
The act has been revised for the first time in 28 years. The revision will come into effect after going through the National Assembly.
Under the legal revision, the maximum punishment for business owners accused of failing to prevent an industrial disaster resulting in the death of a worker will rise from seven years to 10 years, the ministry said.
The maximum fine for corporation owners accused of violating the industrial safety act will also increase from 100 million won to 1 billion won (US$880,000), it noted.
Ministry officials explained the legal revision is a response to criticism that the punishment for business owners failing to fulfill obligations to protect their workers is too weak.
They said only 0.5 percent of business owners indicted for violating the industrial safety act were given a prison term between 2007 and 2016.
The ministry said the revised law will also be applied for fatal accidents involving subcontract workers at industrial sites.
Source: Yonhap News Agency