The death of a 28-year-old excavator driver tried to cover up an industrial accident?


◀ anchor ▶

It has been six months since the Act on Punishment of Serious Accidents, which was created to prevent deaths in industrial fields, was enacted.

Meanwhile, 259 people have died in occupational accidents.

However, there are many deaths that are not captured by these statistics.

In many cases, 911 calls are not even made to cover up the accident.

From today, the news desk continuously accuses the workplace that hides industrial accidents.

First of all, today, we re-examine the death of a 28-year-old young man.

Reporter Joo-hyuk Cha covered the story.

◀ Report ▶

Isudo, a small island in Geoje, Gyeongnam.

On June 19, last year, a 1.7-ton excavator fell while constructing the Dulle-gil.

The driver, 28-year-old No Chi-mok, was crushed and taken to the hospital, but died.

[정승환/119 구급대원]

“(Did you go without knowing that it was an emergency?) We didn’t know at all until the ship came in.”

On the Saturday when the accident occurred, the ground was unstable due to the rain the day before, but the construction was carried out.

There were no signs or safety devices.

The court sentenced the on-site director to 10 months in prison and two years of probation for violating the Occupational Safety and Health Act and negligence.

But family members say that’s not all.

There was an attempt to cover up occupational accidents.

[최경옥/故 노치목 씨 어머니]

“If I had not wasted time and had been reported to 911 normally, I would have been evacuated and treated.”

It is a recording of 911 calls at the time.

The first worker who reported it was an accident during construction, and everything about the excavator was omitted.

[작업자 119 신고]

“(119.) This is Isudo here, but I rolled.”

“(Did you fall? Or) I rolled. I rolled. I rolled down the mountain.”

It was falsely reported that the accident site was not a construction site, but an observatory on the opposite side of the island.

[작업자 119 신고]

(Where should Isudo go?)

“It’s the entrance to the observatory.”

Even in the emergency room, the crew chief lied that it was an accident while walking.

[해경 조사관]

“He said he didn’t even do a forklift and it seems like he was just taking a walk. If we said, ‘It was during construction,’ we would have asked in more detail, but there was no such story.”

The doctors also lied about their identity.

[응급실 의사]

“They said, ‘I’ll call you, the person in charge,’ he said, and then he disappeared.”

When asked why he lied, they both said, ‘I’m too embarrassed to remember.’

The bereaved family suspects that the report was delayed as they tried to manage the accident on their own to cover up the industrial accident.

[최경옥/故 노치목 씨 어머니]

“You killed my child unfairly. I was just crying there, saying, ‘Why, why did you kill me?’

It is not uncommon for accidents at industrial sites not to be reported to 911.

This is because if you have a 119 record, you can be punished as an industrial accident.

[손익찬/산재 전문 변호사]

“Especially in the golden hour, there are many cases where we fight for the minute and second, but it is not uncommon to change the time of the accident, and there are too many cases where the circumstances of the accident are changed.”

The bereaved family sued the company representative and the field manager for attempting to cover up the accident.

The police called the bereaved family for an investigation last week, ten months after the accusation since the start of the MBC coverage.

This is Cha Joo-hyuk from MBC News.

Video coverage: Lee Sang-yong / Video editing: Kom-geun

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