A Study on the Establishment of the Public officials' accident prevention System
Ⅰ. Backgrounds and Purposes
□ Recently, both the number of and the occurrence rate of accidents for public officials have been on the rise. This is due to a variety of reasons, including increased rates of public officials who live alone and are vulnerable to health-related risks, increases in long-distance business trips and commutes due to the relocation of government offices and affiliated agencies to provincial areas, longer working hours for public officials compared than those in the private sector, rude and oppressive bosses in the workplace, increases in public demand for administrative services, increases in mental stress due to unrealistic work expectations, and increases in the incidence of various illnesses and diseases.
□ The increased occurrence rate of accidents for public officials leads to a reduction in work productivity, a reduction of morale for other public officials, increases in the expenses for accident compensation, and other direct and indirect societal costs. As such, it is more important than ever to prepare and implement systematic accident prevention policies in order to reduce the occurrence rate of accidents.
□ Germany stipulates that “the duty of the industrial accident insurance system is to prevent health-related risks due to industrial accidents, work-related diseases, and labor through all sorts of proper means......” in Article 1, Vol. 7 of “The Societal Laws” which focuses specifically on accident prevention (Prävention in German). The country also actively provides services such as consulting, monitoring, research, education, and distribution of information for the prevention of accidents among public officials.
□ Japan has also established measures for reducing the negative impacts of long work hours on public officials, particularly with regards to both their physical and mental health. Their measures are described in the National Public Officials’ Accident Compensation Act, the Provincial Public Officials’ Accident Compensation Act, the Human Resource Rules (which focuses on the maintenance of health and safety for employees) and other such legislation. Japan is promoting policies that focus on accident prevention by consulting employees and experts in the workplace industries.
□ Meanwhile, the Republic of Korea has recently established a new provision focused on accident prevention among public officials through the Public Officials’ Accident Compensation Act. This act was passed on March 20, 2018 and began to take effect on September 21, 2018, thereby expanding the outer range of the public officials’ accident compensation system and providing a legal basis for a comprehensive system of accident prevention-compensation-rehabilitation, improving upon the prior accident management system which focused on monetary compensation.
□ However, there is still an insufficient legal basis for the prevention of accidents for all public officials. Current legislation protects only some specified public officials such as the police and firefighters who are covered by other independent laws which address the prevention of accidents.
□ Each institution and each job type sporadically enact policies for the prevention of accidents of public officials. Though a provision on the establishment and promotion of measures for prevention of accidents (Article 46) is included in the Public Officials’ Accident Compensation Act, it is very insufficient in setting the grounds for preparing and implementing a comprehensive and systematic policy that will cover all government departments. It is necessary that legislation be passed to include national public officials as well as provincial public officials, office public officials and field public officials.
□ There are no specific grounds for the establishment of accident prevention endeavors such as surveying, research, and consultation related to accident prevention, education and PR activities. These steps are necessary for identifying potential causes for accidents and establishing a culture of accident prevention. They are also important in ensuring improvements in employee health and acquiring the finances required in implementing preventative measures. Furthermore, there are currently no grounds for collecting data on accidents to allow for analysis and the establishment of preventative services. There are also many limitations in the goal of establishing a prevention-compensation-rehabilitation system due to the lack of infrastructure such as dedicated hospitals.
□ Accordingly, reducing the number of and potential for accidents during work hours ensures a dignified working context for officials, enables officials to better concentrate on their work, enhances public work productivity and policy satisfaction, reduces societal costs, and strengthens the legal basis for the prevention of further accidents among public officials.
□ This study aims to analyze the status of policies and legal systems for the prevention of accidents of public officials of the Republic of Korea and the limitations thereof in accordance with the above necessities of study. It also seeks to conduct a comparative analysis of the policies and legal systems for the prevention of accidents of public officials of major overseas countries, thereby drawing implications for the Republic of Korea and its systems. Then, this study aims to draw conclusions by analyzing cases of similar legislation for the prevention of accidents of specific public officials such as the police and the firefighters as well as civil workers. Ultimately, this study aims to prepare and present specific legislation plans that will establish comprehensive and systematic policies for the prevention of accidents of public officials according to the Public Officials’ Accident Compensation Act.
Ⅱ. Major Content
□ Chapter 2 deals with the status of legal systems for accident prevention and the limitations thereof with respect to the Public Officials’ Accident Compensation Act.
□ Chapter 3 examines the legislative status of public officials’ accident prevention in major developed nations such as Germany and Japan, and draws conclusions from this analysis.
□ Chapter 4 examines cases of legislation for the accident prevention of private industrial workers industrial and of specific public officials such as the police and firefighters in the Republic of Korea. It then draws reference points for the preparation of specific legislative plans for establishing systematic accident prevention for public officials.
□ Chapter 5 presents specific legislative plans for the establishment of an accident prevention system with respect to the Public Officials’ Accident Compensation Act.
□ This study is conducted in accordance with a proposal by Government Employees Pension Service under Ministry of Personnel Management, and is based on consultation from experts on policies related to the accident prevention of public officials and also takes into account related legislative practices, research discussion conferences, expert opinions, and workshops, thereby increasing the qualitative completeness and site adaptability of the study results. It is the authors hope that this study will be shared widely to promote a greater impact from the study results.
Ⅲ. Expected Effects
□ This study is expected to contribute to the establishment of a comprehensive system of accident prevention-compensation-rehabilitation (return to work) by preparing legal grounds for accident prevention systems via the Public Officials’ Accident Compensation Act.
□ This study is expected to prepare safe work conditions for public officials, increase the rights and benefits of public officials, and reduce accident compensation payment expenses, thereby reducing some financial burdens on the national budget.
Key Words: Public officials' accident prevention, PUBLIC OFFICIALS' ACCIDENT COMPENSATION ACT, Public officials' accident prevention project, Federal and Railway Accident Insurance(Unfallversicherung Bund und Bahn), Fund for Local Government Employees' Accident Compensation