The Supreme Court on Thursday will rule on the death of 24-old Kim Yong-kyun in December 2018 in a conveyor belt accident at Taean Thermal Power Plant in South Chungcheong Province.
The top court will issue sentences for the Korea Western Power Company and Korea Engineering and Power Service(KEPS) as well as the two firms’ top officials.
Former Korea Western Power President Kim Byung-sook was found not guilty in the first two trials on the death, noting that he was not explicitly aware of the dangers posed by a conveyor belt nor the problems with contracts between subcontracting companies and consignment services.
In the first trial, former KEPS head Baek Nam-ho and ten others were slapped with fines or suspended prison sentences, while the second trial ended with reduced sentences for some of the eleven.
Following the 24-year-old’s death, calls grew for a law penalizing business owners or CEOs in the event of a serious industrial accident.
The resultant legislation was the Serious Accidents Punishment Act, which holds business owners or CEOs responsible for work-related deaths of employees with a prison term of one year or more and a fine of up to one billion won, or some 760-thousand U.S. dollars.
The law was passed in the National Assembly’s plenary session on January 8, 2021 and put into effect on January 27 of last year.