Allegations

On March 20, 2019, two non-profits – the Samsung Heavy Industries Martin Linge Project Crane Accident Workers Support Team (Worker Support Team) and Korean Transnational Corporations Watch (KTNC Watch) – filed a specific instance against SAMSUNG Heavy Industries (SHI), TOTAL, TECHNIP, and EQUINOR at the Korean, French, and Norwegian National Contact Points.

On May 1, 2017, during construction of a Martin Linge oil platform at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea, a Goliath crane and Jib tower crane collided. According to the official report by the Ministry of Employment and Labor, the accident killed six workers and injured 25 others. Moreover, 300 workers witnessed the accident, but have not received treatment for the trauma they have suffered.

According to the complainants, an investigation agency found that just before the accident, SHI had adopted an unusual and dangerous work method without first undertaking a risk assessment. Complainants assert that the lack of safety measures and inappropriate assignment of work constituted violations of the Korean Occupational Safety and Health Act and breaches of the General Policies, Disclosure, and Human Rights chapters of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Complainants assert that TECHNIP, leader of the project consortium and recipient of the construction contract, directly supervised the engineering procedures and failed to advise or order appropriate safety management measures, even though the change of construction method was unusual and dangerous. Complainants argue that TOTAL, which operated the project at the time of the incident, did not ensure proper safety assessments were undertaken, while Equinor, the current operator, declined to disclose the investigation report undertaken by the project group after the accident, which might reveal more information about the accident’s cause.

The NGOs are seeking mediation by the NCPs to help determine the breaches of the Guidelines that have occurred and to assist in their remediation.

Relevant OECD Guidelines

Outcome

In June 2019, the Korean NCP completed its Initial Assessment and accepted the case for further consideration.

More details

Documents

  • file
    20 March 2019

    Complaint filed to Korean, French, and Norwegian NCPs

    SHI-MLPC Workers Support Team