[To Technip FMC] Open letter regarding Martin Linge Crane Accident at Samsung Heavy Industries
November 29, 2018
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Open letter regarding Martin Linge Crane Accident at Samsung Heavy Industries
Dear Thierry Pilenko
The Samsung Heavy Industries Martin Linge Project Crane Accident Workers Support Team (hereinafter referred to as the “Worker Support Team”) is a coalition of Korean NGOs, for providing support to workers who suffer from either significant physical or mental damage at the hands of the accidents that occurred during the building of the Martin Linge oil platform at Samsung Heavy Industries. The Korean Transnational Corporations Watch (hereinafter referred to as the KTNC Watch) is a coalition of Korean NGOs that advocate for human rights and the protection of the environment and local communities against corporate malfeasance.
The Martin Linge oil platform, which was under construction at Samsung Heavy Industries, was set to be a part of an offshore plant for Martin Linge. Your company was involved with Samsung Heavy Industries during the construction of the Martin Linge platform as well as the accidents therein and is additionally a stakeholder that was directly involved in the construction of the platform.
On May 1, 2017, the Goliath crane and the Jib tower crane collided with the Martin Linge platform, which was under construction at Samsung Heavy Industries yard. Official statistics show that six workers were killed and 25 were injured in a collision with both the Goliath and Jib Tower Cranes. However, there were a significant number of damaged workers whose mental and physical injuries were not included in the official statistics. At the time of the accident, more than 300 workers witnessed the accident and suffered from trauma. Unfortunately, only 12 people have been identified as suffering from traumatic injuries and are receiving treatment. Now, nearly 18 months after the accident, these workers’ suffering continues and efforts for any type of treatment or other social measures have been very poor.
Despite the fact that the crane collision accident occurred approximately one year and six months ago, the truth of what actually happened to cause the accident has still yet to be clarified. Civil and criminal lawsuits against the individual parties responsible are underway and we can only have access to relevant information about the incident through indirect sources. However, the Government of the Republic of Korea did issue a report named the Investigative Report on the Serious Occupational Accidents in the Shipbuilding Industry on September 1 2018 identifying some of the major causes of accidents overall in the Korean shipbuilding industry.
Remedies as well as policies set to ensure prevention of human rights violations were not fully implemented in this case. As confirmed by the Workers’ Support Team, your company has not made any official statement about the occurrence of the accident or any mention of the victims therein.
The workers who fell victim to this incident are not receiving substantial compensation or support to return normal social life. In addition, though Samsung Heavy Industries announced their “Safety Master Plan” in August of last year, the Worker Support Team estimates that safety measures such as policies that would prevent reoccurrence of this type of accident and general preventative policies overall are impractical from the view of civil society as well as for the sake of the workers.
Due to the aforementioned circumstances, the Worker Support Team and the KTNC Watch ask the following of your company who have participated in the construction of the projects. We look forward to hearing from you and kindly ask for your reply by email to the below contact person no later than December 13 2018.
The Samsung Heavy Industries Martin Linge Project Crane Accident Workers Support Team
Masan Changwon Geoje Movement Association for Workers' Health and Safety (MCGMAWHS)
Korean Metal Workers` Union Legal Center
MINMYN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society KYUNGNAM
The Korean Transnational Corporations Watch
Advocates for Public Interest Law (APIL)
Corporation for All
Gong Gam Human Rights Law Foundation
Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU)
Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM)
Korean House for International Solidarity (KHIS)
Korean Lawyers for Public Interest and Human Rights (KLPH)
MINBYUN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society `s Labor Committee
Eunju Lee, Activist, MCGMAWHS, +82-10-3575-0489, email@example.com
Donghyun Kim, Attorney at Law, KLPH, +82-364-1210, firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions for Technip FMC regarding Martin Linge Crane Accident at Samsung Heavy Industries
- 1. According to the Investigative Report, the direct cause of this case was the method in which the Goliath Crane and the Jib Crane were placed in the yard. After gathering the investigative agency’s statements from Samsung Heavy Industries employees and subcontractors, this method of working was very unusual and certainly not the prototypical method used in the field.
- 1-1 Your company was a co-contractor in the construction of the Martin Linge platform, which was being built within the Samsung Heavy Industries yard. What role did you play in the overall process?
Goliath crane (from left to right) and jib crane (center) overlapping each other and interfering with each other (Source: Official Document of Korea Geoje Police)
- 2. According to press reports and related materials, the initial construction order of the Martin Linge platforms was 19,520 tons. However, the construction order was increased to 23,330 tons and in the process the design has been changed and construction period extended. According to an associate’s statement at the investigating agency, a T-shaped tower crane was used before the platform was raised, but crane interference and blockage arose during superstructure work. Due to this crane interference, it was impossible to raise the T-shaped tower crane. There were a series of meetings for adding the Jib crane into the workplace, and the decision to place the crane was made on May 13, 2016. The Jib crane was ultimately installed on June 13, 2016.
- 2-1 Have your company participated in the meetings? What did you say or contribute to these meetings if you participated?
- 2-2 Did your company recognize that the decision to add the Jib crane into the yard for the construction of the Martin Linge oil platform had been made? If so, when?
- 2-3 During the time the platform was built at Samsung Heavy Industries, did employees or the inspectors of the buyers reside in the shipyard for any period of time?
- 2-4 Did the buyers, such as Total E&P Norge, ask your company or Samsung Heavy Industries to add the Jib crane for the purpose of implementing the changed design? Did an employee from the buyers participate in any meetings and discuss and/or comment on additional input in regard to the jib crane?
- 2-5 Did your company notify buyers of any changes in terms of the methods of operation? Or, how exactly did you tell the buyers how to change its way of working?
- 2-6 If the buyers were notified of these changes to the project, what kind of action, if any, did they take? Did the above adjustments to project plans include engineering and/or technological measures result in any changes to the methods and/or procedures of work?
- 2-7 If there was a directive or consultation in regard to question 2.6, did the above actions include engineering and technological measures that were in accordance with the changes in work methods and procedures? Were there manuals or instruction directives regarding technological measures, safety measures, or work management? If so, what was their specific content?
- 2-8 If directed or consulted on the above measures, how were these safeguards supervised? What was the specific management oversight system?
- 2-9 Did subcontractors attend any meetings and expressed their views on changing the method or working? Have your company received any feedback from subcontractors on how to change the way you work?
- 3. According to the investigation agency’s data and media sources, Samsung Heavy Industries has already suffered several crane collisions before this incident. However, according to the Investigative Report, Samsung Heavy Industries did not conduct any sort of preliminary risk assessment despite the fact that the above-mentioned work is rather unusual as well as quite dangerous. Furthermore, within Samsung Heavy Industries’ safety regulations and work plans, there do not seem to be any established safety measures or detailed standards in place to prevent overloading or risk of crane collision. The Workers’ Support Team considers the failure to establish and implement these measures to be the primary cause of this tragedy. Furthermore, the team considers that the pressures of sticking to an incredibly tight schedule in delivering the platform to the buyers as well as avoiding what were deemed to be excessive costs coupled with a lack of supervision and oversight from the general safety system served as the main failures for being unable to implement the above safety measures.
- 3-1 Have you been asked by the buyers to establish safety measures, including a preliminary risk assessment, in connection with the change in work practices as described above?
- 3-2 Have you asked Samsung Heavy Industries to carry out safety measures including a preliminary risk assessment, in connection with the change in work practices as described above?
- 4. According to the Investigative Report, the buyers simply used the number of individuals dispatched for work as the indicator for the level and type of participation in the building process. This has led to a large number of workers being assigned to multiple jobs concurrently, even in the workplace where the cranes were overlapped. The Investigative Report pointed out it is one of the reasons that the accident occurred and the workers were sacrificed.
- 4-1 What is the reason for the buyers to use the number of workers as the basis for evaluating the stages of completion for the project? Have you ever objected to the buyers with respect to these standards for project evaluations?
- "Please see attached documents"