LONDON – A workers' rights group based in Hong Kong has claimed that it had exposed problems at the Foxconn facility at Chengdu prior to the explosion of Friday, May 20, which reportedly left three people dead and 15 injured.
Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) said it had pinpointed a problem with aluminum dust in the polishing department in a report published in early May. The ultra fine dust is the result of polishing the cases of Apple products to make them shiny, SACOM said.
The explosion, which happened on Friday evening (May 20) at about 7:20pm was reportedly due to dust in a duct.
SACOM claims on its website that it conducted investigations at Foxconn plants in Chengdu in March and April and it found levels of safety were "alarming" and that workers had complained that ventilation in the polishing department was poor.
"Construction and production take place side by side at Foxconn in southern campus. The workers have to walk on a rugged and stony path every day. In some of the production buildings which are in operation, construction work is still in progress. Construction materials like reinforcing bars and bricks are piled on the road side. And construction vehicles run on the campus frequently. The production units and canteen are also full of dust just like the construction site. This raises the issue of job safety as workers are working on the construction site without adequate protective equipment," SACOM said.
SACOM said that on May 6 it published a report, Foxconn and Apple fail to fulfill promises: Predicaments of workers after the suicides, which it says documented a number of occupational safety issues at Foxconn.
SACOM was formed in June 2005 in Hong Kong as not-for-profit organization. It grew out of a student movement devoted to improving the labor conditions of cleaning workers and security guards.
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