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Daewoo E&C CEO to put safety first

Baek Jung-wan (front left), new chief of Daewoo Engineering & Construction, and Jungheung Group Chairman Jung Chang-sun hold the Daewoo flag at an inauguration ceremony in Seoul on Wednesday. (Daewoo E&C)
Baek Jung-wan (front left), new chief of Daewoo Engineering & Construction, and Jungheung Group Chairman Jung Chang-sun hold the Daewoo flag at an inauguration ceremony in Seoul on Wednesday. (Daewoo E&C)
Baek Jung-wan, new chief of Daewoo Engineering & Construction, said Wednesday that he would make worker safety a top priority as the builder seeks a synergistic alliance with parent company Jungheung Group, whose acquisition was greenlighted a month ago.

“We’ll focus on our social responsibilities and to do that, the life of our workers comes first,” Baek said at an inauguration ceremony. The builder recently named a chief safety officer to ensure its safety guidelines are in line with a revised industrial safety law that was prompted by recent fatal workplace accidents.

The law, which holds senior executives more accountable for safety breaches taking place at workplaces like construction sites, was changed to better protect subcontracted workers hired by conglomerates to cut costs, but who get fewer employment protections and less training than full-time workers.

Baek said he would also find new opportunities to expand the builder’s reach, as the firm grows more conscious of the environmental, social and governance impact and puts together low-carbon strategies. Efforts will be made to double down on making strategic investments to do that, he added.

Meanwhile, Jungheung Group Chairman Jung Chang-sun, who attended the ceremony, said he would help improve the financial health of the firm and employees themselves, promising to deliver on reducing Daewoo’s debt levels and increasing employee benefits.

Jungheung Group is the owner of Herald Corp., which publishes The Korea Herald.

By Choi Si-young (siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com)
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