Samsung Allegedly Delayed Reporting Fatal Gas Leak

Yonhap News Agency reports that Samsung is under investigation for allegedly covering up a gas leak that killed one employee and injured four others.

According to the report, hydrofluoric acid, an acute poison that can seriously damage lungs and bones in addition to affecting the nervous system, leaked from a 500 liter tank located at a semiconductor plant in Hwaseong, South Korea, just south of Seoul. It began leaking in gas form Sunday night around 11pm local time.

Presumably fixed before getting too far out of hand, the tank reportedly sprung another leak, secreting about 10 liters at 5am Monday morning. One subcontractor collapsed at the scene and died from prolonged exposure later at the hospital. Four others were also hospitalized, but were discharged shortly thereafter.

"A small amount of diluted hydrofluoric acid leaked early Monday morning during maintenance at one of the gas and chemical supply systems at the Hwaseong site," Samsung confirmed. The situation was contained and production was not affected, the company added.

Samsung reportedly didn't tell the proper authorities about both instances for more than a full day after the workers were hospitalized. Now the company is under investigation by the local police and fire departments for not reporting the incident sooner, to determine whether workers had access to proper safety equipment, and to figure out why the tank leaked the poisonous gas in the first place.

Samsung did not respond to questions about why it delayed in properly telling authorities about the gas leak.

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16 comments
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  • twisted politiks
    Really, one day and they are being investigated? I could see if it were weeks, or months. But 24 hours is a quick turn around as far as incidents like this having to travel through all the proper channels inside the company before being sent to the proper authorities.
    11
  • A Bad Day
    twisted politiksReally, one day and they are being investigated? I could see if it were weeks, or months. But 24 hours is a quick turn around as far as incidents like this having to travel through all the proper channels inside the company before being sent to the proper authorities.


    I'm fairly sure you're required to report industrial accidents ASAP. If your organization cannot relay critical information to other departments/people quickly, then there's something wrong.
    11
  • unimatrixzero
    twisted politiksReally, one day and they are being investigated? I could see if it were weeks, or months. But 24 hours is a quick turn around as far as incidents like this having to travel through all the proper channels inside the company before being sent to the proper authorities.


    As a matter of standard procedures, hazardous materials incidents are to immediately be reported to proper authorities (police, fire, haz mat teams) to help contain the incident & safely evacuate people to a safe distance. Additionally, some "accidents" may even be intentional, criminal, or terrorist activity related. Reporting the incident after a full day is obviously negligent & could have made the situation worse had it gotten out of hand.
    11
  • Other Comments
  • twisted politiks
    Really, one day and they are being investigated? I could see if it were weeks, or months. But 24 hours is a quick turn around as far as incidents like this having to travel through all the proper channels inside the company before being sent to the proper authorities.
    11
  • neon neophyte
    from what i read, it wasnt just some random employee that died but rather the guy who went in to fix it.
    2
  • A Bad Day
    twisted politiksReally, one day and they are being investigated? I could see if it were weeks, or months. But 24 hours is a quick turn around as far as incidents like this having to travel through all the proper channels inside the company before being sent to the proper authorities.


    I'm fairly sure you're required to report industrial accidents ASAP. If your organization cannot relay critical information to other departments/people quickly, then there's something wrong.
    11