South Korea's top tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday it plans to invest some 1.8 trillion won ($1.74 billion) this year to boost safety in its facilities across the country, following a series of accidents that led to deaths and injuries.
This year's investment will mark a 50 percent rise from the 1.2 trillion won in 2013, the company said, adding it has already injected 1 trillion won through July, and the remaining budget will also be invested as scheduled.
"Most of the budget will be used to renovate outdated facilities," an official from the group said. "While we are facing challenges in business management, our affiliates did not reduce the amount as the investment for the environment safety cannot be delayed under any circumstances."
Samsung's latest move came as the No. 1 conglomerate said earlier it would invest around 3 trillion won over the 2013-2014 period to beef up the working environment of its facilities, apparently as its affiliates suffered a handful of accidents last year.
In January 2013, a poisonous hydrofluoric acid gas leaked at the main plant of the world's largest memory chipmaker Samsung Electronics, killing one worker and injuring four others.
Several months later in July 2013, three workers were killed and 12 others injured when a water tank burst during a stress test at a polysilicon plant construction site inside Samsung Fine Chemicals.
A gas leakage at a Samsung facility in southern Seoul sparked by a malfunction of the fire extinguishing system also left one worker dead earlier this year in March, raising concerns among South Koreans that the country's leading tech giant is not making sufficient efforts to prevent accidents.
After the continued casualties from its facilities, the group's de-facto chairman Lee Kun-hee urged management to come up with preventive measures before being hospitalized in May, industry sources said. (Yonhap)