Samsung officially listed 'world's safest workplace'

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 1 March 2000




(2000), "Samsung officially listed 'world's safest workplace'", Assembly Automation, Vol. 20 No. 1.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Samsung officially listed 'world's safest workplace'

Samsung officially listed "world's safest workplace"

Keywords: Safety, Electronics

Guinness Book of World Records chairman Christopher Irwin has officially presented Samsung Electronics with a certificate recognizing its semiconductor complex at Kiheung, Korea, as the "world's safest workplace". The presentation and event, which took place at the Hotel Shilla, in Seoul, was attended by more than 400 people, including Science and Technology Minister Jung-uk Seo, Samsung Electronics Semiconductor Division President Yoon-woo Lee, and ambassadors from more than 20 countries.

The safety record in question spans 104 months, from November 1991 to August 1998, during which the Kiheung complex completed 211.6 million labour hours of operation without a single accident. All employees at the complex are involved in the company's environment and safety management programme, and the Kiheung operation was recognised by the Korea Industry Safety Corporation for achieving this record in August 1998.

President Lee stated in his acceptance speech: "The Kiheung complex will continue to improve safety procedures and the work environment so that we can offer our customers the very best semiconductor products and services. We have set our new safety goal at 289.6 million labour hours."

The "World's safest workplace" record was previously held by the Kanagawa plant of Japan's Hitachi, in 1991, when it reached 116.24 million accident-free labour hours. The record remained unbroken for seven years. This is an impressive feat for Samsung, considering the dangers that are posed to the 10,000 plant employees when handling toxic chemicals and materials used in the production of semiconductor chips and LCD panels.

Samsung Electronics' management policy stresses making safety the top priority of corporate activities. The company has continued to strengthen the role of organisational units responsible for safety management. Every year, new safety management directives and targets are set, and publicly announced to all employees. When investment budgets are set, safety-related issues are considered first.

The senior managers are directly involved in the safety management organisation, and four regional staffs include directors from production divisions. People are assigned to safety management positions at each plant, while worker safety and welfare activities are institutionalised and systematically carried out.

Authorisation must be obtained prior to the purchase of any new equipment or start of a project related to hazardous materials. This system eliminates risk factors at the source. More than 150 safety engineers have also been cultivated to serve as lecturers for in-house safety training programmes. Work environment improvement activities are also ongoing.

During 1998, the Kiheung complex spent KRW16 billion on safety training, new environment protection and safety equipment purchases, and existing facility upgrades.

As a result of Samsung's outstanding safety performance, industrial accident insurance fees have also been reduced by more than KRW2 billion. Last July, all Samsung semiconductor plants in Korea (Kiheung, Chonan and Onyang) were recognised for their safety records by receiving a repayment of KRW1 billion for property and casualty insurance premiums from a French re-insurer.

In August, the company also became the first in Korea to publicly reveal its management of such sensitive issues as carbon dioxide emissions, waste treatment volume, amount of hazardous material used, ratio of investment on environmental protection facilities, and accident rates through a green management report.

This year, Kiheung complex aims to achieve 250.6 million accident-free labour hours.

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, with 1998 sales revenues of US$16.6 billion, is a world leader in the electronics industry. The Korea-based firm has operations in 46 countries and employs 42,000 people worldwide. The company consists of three main business divisions: Multimedia & Home Appliances, Semiconductors, and Information & Telecommunications.

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