Incurable Illnesses and Death Haunt Samsung Factories

The company offers an official apology and compensation to workers and their families

By on May 14th, 2014 12:31 GMT

There's danger to getting out of bed in the morning, but some jobs are a lot more hazardous than others, and it looks like working at a Samsung factory may be among the most dangerous of them all.

And by that we don't mean that you're likely to trip and die, or suffer loss of life by collapsing girders or anything.

Instead, it seems that some Samsung factories are likely to leave workers with incurable diseases, some of which lead to death.

It has been revealed that when that employee died back in March in a gas leak from a malfunctioning fire suppression system, it was just the tip of the iceberg.

Apparently, the conditions in Samsung companies made some employees contract leukemia, of all things, a condition whereby abnormal increase of immature white blood cells called "blasts" begin to eat your healthy cells.

Essentially, it's a type of cancer that affects the blood or bone marrow. It's treatable via chemotherapy, medical radiation therapy, hormone treatments, or bone marrow transplant, but it doesn't always heal.

Back in 2011, Samsung commissioned an investigation to see if the workers really got leukemia from working at its factories or due to other factors. No link was found, but some parties believed that didn't really exclude the possibility.

Samsung has apparently reached the conclusion that denial doesn't serve anyone. One thing led to another and now Samsung has offered an official apology to the workers that contracted illnesses while working for it. It is also offering compensation, to them or, in the case of the deceased, their families.

"Several workers at our production facilities suffered from leukemia and other incurable diseases, which also lead to some deaths," said Samsung CEO Kwon Oh-hyun, according to Yonhap News.

"We should have settled the issue earlier. We are deeply heartbroken that we failed to do so and express our deep apology."

A neutral panel will be formed to figure out what the compensation should be to everyone affected by these unfortunate cases. Unfortunately, not all are clearly cut. For instance, the two incidents in 2013 (hydrofluoric acid gas leaks) killed one person and put four in hospital, while injuring three others.

When it comes to leukemia and all the others, however, it might prove difficult to reach a conclusion, especially if the ones being offered compensation don't feel that money can really solve things. Then again, it's not like there are many other avenues to explore.

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