Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for September 5th, 2018

leaksss.PNG

A carbon dioxide leak left a worker dead and three other injured at Samsung’s chip plant.    Photo source: MBC News Desk (YouTube capture)

 

A gas leak has left one worker dead and two critically injured at Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.’s flagship chip plant—an event reminiscent of a fatal gas leak that hit another Samsung plant five years ago.

On Sept. 4 afternoon, three workers passed out in a basement unit of Samsung’s Giheung plant in Gyonggi province, poisoned by carbon dioxide as they carried firefighting cylinders containing the gas.  Hours later, the youngest one, aged 24, was pronounced dead at the hospital.  The others, 26 and 54 years old respectively, are in critical condition.

Also, Samsung’s own paramedic was hospitalized after getting injured while treating the victims, said Kyeongin Ilbo, a local daily, in an exclusive report.  Samsung did not disclose the paramedic’s hospitalization in earlier press releases or did not report to authorities, the newspaper said on Sept 6.

“The first responder was injured while treating the victims,” Kyeongin quoted a Samsung spokesman as saying. “He will be discharged today, depending on test results on his carbon dioxide exposure.”

As of this posting, the four men’s identities are not released.

History of Leaks

In many ways, the carbon dioxide leak is a rerun of another fatal leak from January 2013. At Samsung’s Hwaseong plant, also in Gyonggi, two expired gaskets of a 500-liter tank leaked twice, spewing a total of ten liters of diluted hydrofluoric acid gas, an impurity remover that can instantly and permanently damage pulmonary organs and corneas.  The leaks killed one workers and injured four others.

Despite the fatality and Samsung’s attempts at covering up, the South Korean government brought criminal charges against four executives and employees of STI, the Samsung contractor responsible for facility maintenance and safety. Only three mid-level Samsung managers were charged.

Pattern of Leaks

The world’s largest tech conglomerate may well attempt again to shirk responsibility and dodge criminal charges.

The victims of the carbon dioxide leak were employees of Samsung’s contractor, a fact which revealed that Samsung still outsources such major first-response jobs as fire prevention and safety.

In 2013, the company used a first-response outsourcer to patch up the leaks and transported the victims to hospital.  The tech conglomerate did not immediately report them to authorities, leading to horrified elementary schools in its vicinity postponing the new semester.  Despite public outcries, the province government did not conduct an epidemiological probe of the area.

Outsourced First Response

The corporate giant’s outsourcing of first response often proved fatal.  In May 2017, six workers were killed and more than twenty were injured when a mobile crane crashed into and felled a fixed crane at the shipyard of Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd in Geoje, Korea.

Samsung bungled first-response efforts, according to an expose by independent news site The Voice of the People.  The company did not bring in government paramedics during the first hour of the accident, during which its own first responders failed to stop the hemorrhaging of a victim who eventually died.

Technicality

This time, at least, Samsung used its own first-responders to rescue the victims.

However, the Samsung plant reported the leak to its police and fire precincts after the death of the worker, or about two hours after the accident, sidelining the province’s emergency management system.

“We attempted to contact Samsung for a number of times after learning about the leak,” independent daily Hankyoreh quoted an unnamed EMS official as saying.  “We received a report from the company about two hours after the leak.”

“This is a clear violation of the Firefighting Basic Law,” the anonymous source added.

“It did not constitute a gave situation [necessitating us contacting the EMS] until there was a fatality,” a Samsung spokesperson told Yonhap News.

Probes

Gyonggi province will launch a special probe into the Samsung plant to determine whether Samsung violated the law when it did not immediately report the leak, Governor Jae-myung, who took office three months ago, said in a Facebook posting.  Separately, he sent an EMS taskforce to the plant to prevent any fallout from the leak.

 

Read Full Post »