OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
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).
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 prolonged litigation."
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 international conglomerate.
The settlement agreement is to be posted in a conspicuous location at all current Samsung workplaces covered by the act.
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