The National Safety Council (NSC) awarded Samsung Electronics Friday for operating "the safest workplace in the world."
On Sept. 17, 1999, the Samsung Electronics semiconductor complex in Kiheung, Korea was officially entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for achieving 211.6 million hours without a lost-time injury.
The safety record at that time spanned 104 months, from November 1991 to August 1998.
The record has since been extended to more than 250 million hours and 199 months.
The Kiheung complex employs 10,000 people and is a world leader in the production of semiconductor chips and LCD panels.
The "World''s Safest Workplace" record was previously held by the Kanagawa plant of Japan''s Hitachi Corp. in 1991 when it reached 116.24 million accident-free labor hours. The record remained unbroken for seven years.
"Samsung Electronics sets a standard for managing safety that businesses throughout the world can emulate," said Alan McMillan, NSC executive vice president and chief operating officer. "This safety record is especially impressive, considering the dangers that are posed to the plant employees when handling toxic chemicals and materials used in their production processes."
McMillan presented the award to Samsung Electronics Semiconductor Division President Yoon-Woo Lee in ceremonies at the Kiheung complex.
"Management policy at Samsung makes safety and environmental issues a top priority," said McMillan. "This priority is evidenced by an investment of 16 billion Korean Won in 1998 (approximately $14 million in today''s U.S. dollars) on safety training, new environmental protection, safety equipment purchases and facility upgrades. It is also evidenced by the safety management system, the active role each employee plays in the safety process and the employment of over 150 safety engineers at the Kiheung complex."
Samsung Electronics has operations in about 50 countries with 54,000 employees worldwide.
by Virginia Sutcliffe