Samsung investigates worker's death following chemical leak at chip plant

A hydrofluoric acid leak at Samsung Electronics' Hwaseong plant in South Korea sent five workers to a hospital, where one died

A chemical leak at a Samsung Electronics plant in South Korea has resulted in the death of a contract worker, while four others have been discharged from a hospital after treatment, the company said Monday.

Hydrofluoric acid leaked from a chemical supply system during a maintenance operation at Samsung's Hwaseong site, the company said. A service company sent the contract workers to deal with the problem, Samsung said.

"Sadly, one worker died due to complications," the company said in a statement offering condolences to the contractor's family.

The Hwaseong site, near Seoul, is home to one of the world's largest memory chip factories. Last June Samsung said it will invest almost US$2 billion in a new production line due to open there by the end of this year. The line will use 20-nanometer and 14nm production processes to make mobile application processors on 300 millimeter wafers.

Korean media reports said the leak, of about 10 liters of hydrofluoric acid from a tank with a capacity of 500 liters, began around 11 p.m. local time on Sunday.

Yonhap News Agency reported that the company delayed reporting the leak for up to 15 hours after it occurred.

Hydrofluoric acid is used to etch away silicon oxides in the manufacture of semiconductor wafers.

It is highly corrosive and can also dissolve glass and stainless steel. It burns exposed skin, and over-exposure to vapor or mist can cause tissue damage and death.

Samsung said the leak has been contained and that it will investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Electronics manufacturingbusiness issuespersonnelHealth and safetySamsung ElectronicsComponentsenvironment

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?