Thu, May 26, 2011 - Page 12 News List

China tells Taiwan firms to improve factory safety

Reuters, BEIJING

China asked Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團) and other Taiwanese firms to pay more attention to safety after a deadly blast at a Chinese factory making iPads for Apple.

Production in parts of the plant in Chengdu was suspended by Foxconn, Apple’s biggest manufacturing partner, after three workers died and 15 were injured in a blast in a polishing workshop where Apple’s signature products undergo finishing.

“We hope that Foxconn and other Taiwanese companies can learn a lesson from this, fulfill their safety responsibilities, strengthen internal oversight controls, scrutinize hidden dangers in a timely manner and ensure safe production,” said Fan Liqing (范麗青), spokeswoman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, yesterday.

“After the accident happened, the local government immediately undertook rescue work, and set up a joint investigation team. As I understand it, the initial findings are that this was a production safety accident,” Fan told a news conference.

“Foxconn has said that it will make an all-out effort to treat the [affected] workers and reassure family members and will remove hidden safety dangers in accordance with relevant demands,” she added.

This is not the first time Foxconn has been hit by controversy.

A string of worker suicides at its sprawling plants shone a harsh spotlight on what critics dubbed a militaristic culture pushing its workers to the brink to meet a flood of unceasing global orders for Apple’s slick new generations of devices.

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