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[Newsmaker] Another worker injured at SPC bread factory

Heo Young-in (third from left) apologizes for the recent accident during a press conference at SPC Group headquarters in Yangjae, southern Seoul. (SPC Group)
Heo Young-in (third from left) apologizes for the recent accident during a press conference at SPC Group headquarters in Yangjae, southern Seoul. (SPC Group)

A worker was injured at one of South Korean bakery giant SPC Group’s bread-making factories on Sunday, just two days after its chief extended a public apology in response to a deadly accident in another factory run by the bakery group.

A factory worker in his 40s lost a finger when trying to sort out defective products from a conveyer belt at a Shany bread-making factory operated by SPC Group in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, at around 6:10 a.m., police said. Two more workers were reportedly at the scene of the incident.

SPC runs a range of brands such as bakeries Samlip, Shany, Paris Baguette and Paris Croissant, as well as Korean operations of doughnut chain Dunkin' Donuts and ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins.

The victim was immediately sent to a nearby hospital for a finger reconstruction surgery.

The police launched an investigation to determine the exact cause of the accident and also to determine if the victim had abided by safety rules.

The incident took place just two days after SPC Group Chief Executive Officer Heo Young-in apologized over the death of a employee at a separate factory and pledged not to repeat the tragedy.

At an earlier press conference, Heo said, “I feel strongly responsible for this accident and accept criticism from the public without any excuses. To prevent the reoccurrence of such tragedy, we will thoroughly revise our safety management system and strengthen the safeness of our business operation.”

As part of prevention measures, Heo pledged an additional 100 billion won ($69.6 million) to upgrade safety management systems at the company's worksites.

Heo added that a separate safety management committee will be set up, consisting of outside experts and factory workers, as well as adding more safety management-related staff.

These were countermeasures in response to the fatal incident on Oct. 15 in which a young factory worker was killed after getting caught in a mixer that makes sauces for sandwiches in SPC’s bread-making factory in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province.

After the first incident took place, SPC Group was criticized for having continued operation of other machines in the factory and sending employees who had been at the scene of the accident off on vacation.



By Hong Yoo (yoohong@heraldcorp.com)
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