News Release USDL: 96-525
Monday, December 23, 1996
Contact: Susan Fleming,(202) 219-8151
Worker Death at Air Terminal Project
Samsung Guam Agrees To Pay $1.85 Million In OSHA Penalties
Samsung Gaum, Inc. (SGI) has agreed to pay penalties
totaling $1,850,000 and to undertake an extensive safety and
health program as part of a settlement signed Friday, Dec. 20,
1996, with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
OSHA issued citations and proposed penalties against SGI in
1995, following its investigation of the death of a worker who
fell from a roof at the Guam International Air Terminal Expansion
and Renovation Project for which SGI was the steel erection
contractor. Under the settlement, Samsung has agreed to bring
all its current and future construction projects in the U.S. and
its territories into full compliance with OSHA standards.
"It is particularly important that employers in the
construction industry understand the need to protect workers from
fall hazards," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational
Safety and Health Joseph A. Dear, who administers OSHA. "OSHA
has and will continue to aggressively enforce fall protection
standards, because they save lives and reduce injuries. Our
concern extends to construction projects underway in the Pacific
Rim territories under U.S. jurisdiction."
"A key element is that Samsung will inform all its employees
that management is committed to employee safety and health and
will not tolerate any attempts to circumvent the requirements of
the Occupational Safety and Health Act and OSHA regulations,"
Dear noted. "The settlement also avoids the cost and burden of
Son Dal Kun, a 41-year-old South Korean welder for SGI, fell
65 feet to his death on March 28, 1995, while walking on
unsecured steel decking on a roof overhang. The decking fell off
the support members.
Following its investigation of the fatality, OSHA proposed
$8,260,000 in penalties for 118 alleged willful violations of
requirements for protecting workers against fall hazards.
In addition to reducing the total amount to be paid, OSHA
also agreed to delete the willful classification of the alleged
violations. Samsung agreed to withdraw its contest to the
citations and proposed penalties and also certified that all
conditions cited as violations have now been fully abated.
The Samsung management policy statement will include a
commitment to enhance existing safety and health programs, will
encourage employee participation in resolving safety and health
issues, and will provide that reports of safety and health
concerns are encouraged, protected from reprisal, and shall be
addressed and resolved in an appropriate and timely manner.
Samsung also agreed to provide employee training, including
refresher training, in general hazard recognition, appropriate
fall protection measures and Samsung's safety and health policies
and procedures. The company will hold weekly safety meetings
with its employees on each job site to discuss fall protection
issues relevant to the job. Its existing fall protection
program will be revised to ensure that Samsung meets OSHA fall
protection requirements for construction work in the U.S.
As part of the agreement, Samsung will perform written
safety and health audits before beginning work on any
construction job in the U.S. during the next two years. The
audits will be performed by an individual or team expert in
requirements of the OSH Act (particularly in construction). They
will verify that Samsung's safety and health procedures
adequately address safety and health hazards and that responsible
management personnel at the work site know the OSHA requirements
and company safety procedures and practices to ensure compliance
with the act.
Samsung Guam is part of Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.,
which in turn is part of The Samsung Group, a South Korean
The settlement agreement is to be posted in a conspicuous
location at all current Samsung workplaces covered by the act.