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A Study on Industrial Accident for Broken Prosthesis: with Focus on July 10. 2014 ruling 2012 du 20991 in Supreme Court of Korea


  • Department of Rehabilitation, Hanshin University, Korea, Republic of
  • Department Occupational Therapy, Jungwon University, Korea, Republic of


Background/Objectives: This study is to consider decision of Supreme Court of Korea to acknowledge broken prosthesis is the same with physical injury and to pay worker's compensation reimbursement following industrial accidents. Methods/Statistical Analysis: We analyzed the judgment of the Korean Supreme Court in 2014 of the 'Case No. 2012 du 20991', the case of cancel for disapproval dispose for care of the damaged artificial limb by the Industrial Accident Compensation in 2010. For this, we reviewed legal definition of disability and assistive device based on concerned laws and ICF model, compared prior precedents, and interpreted the final sentence of the Korean Supreme Court. Findings: We suggested the incident happened during job performance had to be counted as an industrial accident. Prostheses are in direct contact and connect with damaged body, and it may alternate deficient parts of body and restore one's body function and appearance. Artificial limbs have considerably different properties compared to assistive technology devices. So, broken prosthesis was not different from any physical injury. Intervention by professional are required to properly use prosthesis for the disabled. Prosthesis is essential products for daily life and job retention of them despite hassle of use. In work performance of the Plaintiff, Prosthesis must be judged as part of body that is responsible for core functions necessary to perform essential duties as a security guard. Korea Workers' Compensation&Welfare Service has duty to support him to continue work life and to return to work. The refusing to reimbursement for the damaged prosthesis may hinder to return to worksite of injured workers. Finally our society will make mistake of lowering the efficiency of public spending. Application/Improvements: We support the ruling for case No. 2012 du 20991 of the Korean Supreme Court. It acknowledged the importance of assistive technology devices for participation and activities for the disabled.


Artificial Limb, Disability, Industrial Accident, Prosthesis, Worker’s Compensation.

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