Worker dies in mishap at Hyundai’s shipyard

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Worker dies in mishap at Hyundai’s shipyard

A worker for a subcontractor of the nation’s leading shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), was fatally injured at a construction site over the weekend, the company’s labor union said Monday.

The 21-year-old worker for BC Tech, surnamed Lee, died from injuries incurred while he was cleaning cables in a freight elevator at the construction site for the world’s largest floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel in Ulsan, South Gyeongsang, at 2:20 p.m. on Saturday.

When completed, the new vessel, named Goliath, will be able to store about one million tons of crude oil. The company won the contract from Norway’s Eni Norge in February 2010.

The labor union said the worker slipped and fell into a gap between an elevator and the edge of a partially built hallway, and his head and chest got stuck. He was immediately sent to a hospital, where he died. Lee was the 11th worker to be killed this year in 10 separate industrial accidents at construction sites operated by HHI and its affiliates. All of the workers were hired by subcontractors, and HHI has been criticized for assigning them dangerous jobs.

Hyundai’s labor union said that elevator installation was not part of Lee’s usual duties and he did not fully understand how to do it. He was dispatched to help because of a lack of manpower and because the company was in a rush to complete the project, which is scheduled to be finished early next year.

“We feel very sorry that this accident occurred at our construction site,” a spokesman for HHI said. “Since local police are investigating the accident, we will fully cooperate with the investigation to find out the exact cause of the accident.”

BY KWON SANG-SOO [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

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