Construction site cargo worker dies, primary contractor responsible

▲ File photo Reporter Jeong Ki-hoon

The court ruled that industrial accidents of freight transport workers who died while transporting drilling machines to construction sites should be included in the accident statistics of Woncheong Construction.

The 7th administrative division of the Seoul Administrative Court (Chief Judge Kim Kook-hyeon) announced on the 1st that it had ruled against the plaintiff in the lawsuit against the construction company A, which was filed against the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency to cancel the disposition of notification of the accident death rate. The case was sentenced immediately after only one hearing was held. The fatality rate is the ratio of deaths due to industrial accidents per 10,000 workers.

Cargo truck driver dies after being struck by a screwdriver
Calculation of the total population including the number of deaths from accidents at the Corporation and Primary Offices

Company A was contracted by Korea Land and Housing Corporation (LH) for Seoul Suseo Station Area and Geumcheon Happy Housing Construction in 2019. After that, the civil engineering work was separately subcontracted to Company B, and Company B lent the drilling machine to a private construction equipment rental company. Again, the construction equipment rental company signed a contract to transport the drilling machine with a freight forwarder, and the transport company delivered the drilling machine to the construction site.

When the construction began, worker C from the transport company transported the drilling machine parts with a freight truck around 6 am on October 9, last year. However, the excavator operator pushed the loading box accessories with the excavator, and in the process of Mr. C and the signal man removing the fixed wedge post, a cylindrical screw (weight about 700 kg) rolled down. C, unable to avoid it, was hit by a screw and died that day.

Then, the Corporation included the death of Mr. C in the number of fatal accidents that occurred at the construction site of Company A, and notified Company A of the ‘2020 accident death rate for all people’ calculated accordingly in June of this year. The Corporation calculates the industrial accident rate of construction companies every year and notifies the relevant companies. Depending on the rate of industrial accidents, construction companies will have their construction performance reduced when evaluating their construction capacity. The company filed a lawsuit against the Corporation in July saying that the notification of the accident death rate was wrong.

Court “Responsible for accident and death of primary contractor and subcontractor”

The court dismissed Company A’s claim, saying that the disposition of the Corporation including the death of Company C in the number of accidental deaths of Company A was lawful. The court said, “Even if the deceased went to the construction site according to the contract to transport the parts of the drilling machine, the accident occurred while transporting the drilling machine, which is an essential construction machine for civil works, and unloading the accessories together with the excavator operator working at the construction site.” As a construction company, the company is responsible for all accidents and deaths of subcontractors that occurred at the construction site.”

Regarding Company A’s claim that ‘the subcontracting relationship was severed due to the involvement of a sole trader in the contract’, the court said, “Company A claims that it cannot include transportation companies and temporary workers in its scope of responsibility, but in principle, the enforcement rules It includes all the number of workers who suffered accidental death and injury at the site,” he explained.

The part where Company A protested that ‘C’s death was not directly related to the construction’ was also rejected. The court said, “The accident occurred in the process of unloading the drilling machine and accessories for retaining work at Company A’s construction site, and the accident was directly related to Company A’s construction. Ball proof is also lacking.”

The court said, “In accordance with the enforcement rules, the Corporation calculated the accident death rate for general construction companies in 2020 and notified Company A of them. It is difficult to accept Company A’s claim that it is a deviation and abuse of discretion.”

Attorney Park Seong-min (law firm person) who represented the Corporation said, “The judgment clarified the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act that both contractors and subcontractors are responsible for preventing industrial accidents and creating a safe working environment. Because they are responsible, it is natural to include them in the accident-to-death rate.”

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