Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sad News for a Samsung Worker: Chemical Leak at Hwaseong Plant

The perils of working in manufacturing companies is, generally, well-known by employees of their companies.  Samsung has been targeted, recently, as a company that has not informed workers of the risk at working at their plants.

At my office near Samsung's office we, regularly, hear the chants from protestors.  The majority of the protestors have protested in order claim compensation from Samsung for injuries that were alleged to be caused to workers and the family's of workers based on exposure to toxic chemicals.  A causal relationship is, often, difficult for the plaintiffs to prove, thus, they have turned to political tools at solving a perceived unethical treatment of these employees.

The protest I see the most is a protest concerning the increased risk of contracting leukemia from the chemicals utilized in the semiconductor and cell phone manufacturing processes.  Many of the chemicals have been banned in other countries.

In the recent matter, an employee died shortly after being exposed to diluted hydrofluoric acid that was leaking.  We may never know how many workers were exposed, but we need to realize and appreciate the significant risk that these workers are exposed to working in these plants.

Prayers go out to the families and congratulations to Samsung for not trying to hide an issue that should be further addressed with the assistance of the incoming administration.
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Other articles from the media that may be of interest:

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Sean Hayes may be contacted at: SeanHayes@ipglegal.com.

Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team at IPG Legal. He is the only non-Korean to have worked as an attorney for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a regular member of a Korean law faculty.