The Korea Herald


Worker dies following accident at bakery factory

By Yonhap

Published : Aug. 10, 2023 - 19:00

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A Shani bakery factory in Seongnam, south of Seoul. (Yonhap) A Shani bakery factory in Seongnam, south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

A worker in her 50s who was injured earlier this week while working at a bakery factory in Seongnam, south of Seoul, died at a hospital Thursday, police said.

The accident occurred Tuesday at a bread-making facility operated by Shani, a subsidiary of food and beverage conglomerate SPC.

The worker became trapped in a dough machine at the bakery factory after a colleague operated the machinery without proper safety confirmation, according to police.

She was promptly transported to a hospital in a state of cardiac arrest. Despite undergoing emergency surgery, she did not recover, authorities confirmed.

Police have booked the co-worker for questioning on a charge of professional negligence resulting in death. They are also investigating whether the factory adhered to safety protocols.

The labor ministry deployed inspectors to investigate the cause of the accident and to assess whether any violations of safety regulations had occurred.

If any wrongdoing is detected on the part of the company, it could face penalties under the Serious Accidents Punishment Act, which came into effect in January 2022.

The law aims to impose more stringent penalties on company owners and management with 50 or more employees who neglect their responsibilities to prevent significant accidents.

SPC, the parent company of Shani, suspended the operations of the facilities immediately after the accident and pledged full cooperation with the ongoing police investigation.

SPC was hit last year by a fatal industrial accident at another subsidiary.

On Oct. 15, 2022, a 23-year-old worker lost his life while operating a sauce mixing machine at a factory operated by SPC-affiliated SPL in Pyeongtaek, 60 kilometers south of Seoul.

The police have referred five SPL officials to the prosecution for potential charges of professional negligence leading to death.

The Shani factory has also experienced prior safety-related incidents. On May 12, a worker sustained a fractured finger when it became trapped in a machine. On Oct. 23, 2022, another worker had a finger severed due to a similar incident. (Yonhap)