Industry Safety Con­fer­ence

The Global Digest (English) - - Contents - By Staff Cor­re­spon­dent

A Safety Con­fer­ence was held in Seoul on Novem­ber 28, 2013. The Con­fer­ence was co-hosted by the Euro­pean Cham­ber of Com­merce in Korea, KCCI and BISD. The Con­fer­ence was opened with wel­come re­marks by Christo­pher Hei­der, Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral, ECCK, then fol­lowed by a pre­sen­ta­tion. Many busi­ness own­ers, man­agers and academicians at­tended.

The first pre­sen­ta­tion ti­tle was “Safety Is­sues in Korea & Cur­rent Pol­icy to Pre­vent Chem­i­cal Ac­ci­dent” by Sanghoon Kim, Deputy Di­rec­tor, Chem­i­cal Safety TF, of Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment. Kim de­scribed a chem­i­cal ac­ci­dent in Gumi 2012, at Hub Global Co., Ltd., in Gumi Na­tional In­dus­trial Com­plex, which left 5 dead, dam­age crops of 212 hectares and live­stock 3,943, which cost $55mil­lion. Sim­i­larly, there were ac­ci­dents in other coun­tries, the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in In­dia 1984, and Rhine Pol­lu­tion, Basel, in Switzer­land in 1986. Kim warned that be­cause of over­crowd­ing at Ban-woll, a Si-he­ung in­dus­trial com­plex is vul­ner­a­ble to ac­ci­dent.

The na­ture of the chem­i­cal industry is re­ac­tiv­ity, ex­plo­sive­ness and tox­i­c­ity. Ac­cord­ing to Kim’s sur­vey, ma­jor com­pa­nies say ex­pan­sion of financial & hu­man resources are the most im­por­tant for safety re­in­force­ment, and the ex­ces­sive re­spon­si­bil­ity of industry should be rea­son­ably ad­justed. Other SMEs say gov­ern­men­tal sup­port is nec­es­sary for vul­ner­a­ble SMEs, and safety mea­sures & reg­u­la­tions should be clar­i­fied. And Sub­con­trac­tors says safety con­cerns should be re­flected on con­tracts, and haz­ardous in­for­ma­tion should be given to sub­con­trac­tors, and work­ers them­selves should rec­og­nize the dan­gers of the field. And ex­perts & agen­cies say cus­tom­ized mea­sures are ur­gently needed, and equip­ment & in­for­ma­tion sys­tems for re­sponse should be re­in­forced.

South Korea gov­ern­ment plans re­duc­ing the in­ci­dence of chem­i­cal ac­ci­dents in half by 2017 com­pared to 2012: 1) vol­un­tary en­hance­ment of safety man­age­ment. 2) gov­ern­men­tal sup­ports on SMEs & vul­ner­a­ble, on-site di­ag­nos­tic and financial sup­port, 87 old in­dus­trial com­plexes by 2017, loan for SMEs & Chem­i­cal Fa­cil­i­ties ($800 mil­lion, 2014). 3) strict & tight le­gal en­force­ment, rel­e­vant laws & Reg­u­la­tion Sys­tem Clar­i­fi­ca­tion, chem­i­cal Con­trol Acts and Act on Reg­is­tra­tion & Eval­u­a­tion, etc. of Chem­i­cal Sub­stance, real-time track­ing sys­tem, safety train­ing for driv­ers, etc. 4) co­op­er­a­tion & com­mu­ni­ca­tion, in­ter-gov­ern­ment in­spec­tion & Ac­ci­dent re­sponse, es­tab­lish­ment of emer­gency cen­ter at 6 high-risk in­dus­trial com­plexes, co­op­er­a­tion net­work es­tab­lish­ment for re­sponses. Kim found out uni­ver­si­ties also lack safety cour­ses.

The sec­ond pre­sen­ta­tion called, “Case Study: HSE Man­age­ment Sys­tem by Solvay” was made by Kyoung-Seok Choi, HSE Man­ager, Solvay Sil­ica Korea. Choi said Solvay is a ma­jor global player in chem­i­cals with com­pel

ling strengths, 90% of sales in busi­nesses among the top 3 global lead­ers, 38% of sales in fast grow­ing mar­kets, a bal­anced port­fo­lio of ac­tiv­i­ties, a cul­ture of sus­tain­abil­ity, in­no­va­tion and op­er­a­tional ex­cel­lence.

For ex­am­ple, their safety pro­gram in In­choen in­cludes a safety in­spec­tion pro­gram, a safety train­ing pro­gram for em­ployee, a safety task ob­ser­va­tion pro­gram, and a safety study pro­gram. More­over, they have or­ga­nized safety duty teams, and listed an­nual safety duty en­tries by HSE teams, one be­ing the typ­i­cal list, and the other is an op­er­a­tor’s duty list, in­clud­ing 4 hours for safety duty. Ac­cord­ing to Choi, the re­sult from safety duty in 2012, re­ported 171 items in dan­ger­ous con­di­tions , with 8 items solved by safety duty teams; 118 items to be re­paired items ASAP; and 66 items to be set up by im­prov­ing ac­tion plans.

The third pre­sen­ta­tion was called, “Prac­ti­cal Steps to Trans­form Safety Per­for­mance” by David Tu­ber­field, Asi­aPa­cific Man­ag­ing Part­ner-Per­for­mance & As­sur­ance, ERM. David men­tioned that the rate of change in per­for­mance ex­pec­ta­tions was ris­ing, and that this rate in­cluded things such as me­dia, ed­u­ca­tion, sci­ence, reg­u­la­tion, and so on. David claimed that all or most of the in­dus­tries were re­luc­tant to par­tic­i­pate in au­dit­ing, that they wanted to try and run away from au­di­tors.

Com­men­ta­tor Dr. Hyuck-Myun Kwon, PhD, Se­nior Di­rec­tor, KOSHA Ulsan Area Of­fice (former Di­rec­tor, Safety Re­search in Oc­cu­pa­tional Safety and Health Re­search In­sti­tute, KOSHA; Former Vice Chair­man, Work­ing Group for Chem­i­cal Ac­ci­dents, OECD), pointed out there were 300 ma­jor ac­ci­dents in Europe in the past 10 years. Dr. Kwon sug­gests that CEO lead­er­ship and man­age­ment groups are im­por­tant for pre­vent­ing in­dus­trial ac­ci­dents, es­pe­cially chem­i­cal ac­ci­dents. In 2010, Korea or­ga­nized CEO aware­ness. Dr. Kwon asked industry to fo­cus on min­i­mum per­sonal dam­age.

An­other dis­cus­sant, Yong­min Cho, PhD, Pro­fes­sor, In­sti­tute for Oc­cu­pa­tional & En­vi­ron­men­tal Health, Korea Univer­sity, said the prob­lem is how well the sys­tem was im­ple­mented. Sim­i­larly, Steve Dev­ereaux, Lead Pro­fes­sional, Sam­sung Loss Con­trol Cen­ter, Sam­sung Fire and Marine In­sur­ance Col, Ltd, also viewed top-down man­age­ment as be­ing es­sen­tial to solve safety, safety is also a com­mit­ment, in­clud­ing cul­tural per­spec­tive, and is also in need of a proac­tive ap­proach.

The last dis­cus­sant was Pe­ter JH Kim, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Pilz Korea Ltd., who said South Korea is 2nd from the bot­tom of the OECD, the next to the worst coun­try for ac­ci­dents. 1) Need gov­ern­ment guid­ance in­clud­ing financial im­pact for con­sid­er­ing ex­penses for im­ple­men­ta­tion and pro­ce­dure. 2) Man­age­ment is­sue. 3) Pro­mote aware­ness and cul­tural is­sue among work­ers. Wrongly, many CEOs think preven­tion cost is not im­por­tant, the best method is to vol­un­tar­ily seek safety preven­tion.

David Tu­ber­field, Asia-Pa­cific Man­ag­ing Part­ner-Per­for­mance & As­sur­ance

Layne Hart­sell (USA) is an ac­tivist and scholar in res­i­dence at Cen­ter for Ethics in Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy at Chu­la­longkorn Univer­sity, and is a Fel­low at the P2P Foundation and the New Club of Paris. Cur­rently, he is con­duct­ing re­search on phys­i­cal sci­ence in piezotron­ics and in the ubiq­ui­tous com­mons for P2P net­worked sys­tems based in so­ci­etal in­no­va­tion and global jus­tice. He is also a Se­nior Editor of the Global Di­gest mag­a­zine.

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