Korean dies in another Hanjin shipyard mishap

Published by rudy Date posted on January 26, 2009

Just two days after a Filipino worker met a fatal accident at the facility, a Korean worker was killed yesterday inside the shipyard of Hanjin Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. in Subic Bay Freeport, Zambales province when he was run over by a forklift.

Choi Dond Baek, a foreman assigned to the Assembly C Area of the shipyard, died when he was run over by a forklift truck while playing basketball.

According to a police investigation report, the incident happened around 12:45 a.m. when a certain Mr. Tae allegedly ordered forklift operator Menti Pranda to pull out the makeshift basketball ring at the Assembly C Area where Choi was playing.

But despite the ordered pull-out of the ring, Choi reportedly continued playing and when the ball went array he allegedly went after it, crossing the path of the onrushing forklift. Because Choi dashed in front of his speeding vehicle, Pranda had no time to avoid the Korean or put on the brakes and ran over him.

Choi was rushed to the San Marcelino District Hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival by attending physicians.

Police authorities were initially barred from entering the shipyard’s premises to conduct an investigation into the incident, but the management of the facility allowed them in after some time.

Choi’s death was the second to have happened this month at the Hanjin shipyard after a sub-contracted Filipino worker was killed in an accident there last Friday.

Raldon del Rosario, 19, a welder at the ship-building facility, died due to a broken skull when a 15-ton “curtain door” that was being installed by a crane broke loose and fell over him.

Another Filipino co-worker of his identified as Camalao Bochei, 24, was also hit by the heavy metal door and suffered fractures on his leg.

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has vowed to pursue the prosecution of those who will be found liable for the death of Del Rosario, as it suspended the subcontractor which had employed him.

Both Del Rosario and Bochei were hired only last November by Redondo I-Tech Corp., a firm subcontracted by Hanjin.

The SBMA has said it has recently issued two notices of violation to Hanjin after a safety inspection found the Korean firm lacking in the provision of safety measures for its workers.

In its inspection last Jan. 6 the SBMA found that some workers in the shipyard were not wearing protective equipment and that some work areas were dimly-lit and not well-ventilated.

According to Hanjin’s records, Del Rosario was the 18th Filipino worker to have died from traffic and work-related accidents at the shipyard in Subic since the Korean firm started its operations there in 2006. But the People’s Task Force Hanjin and SBMA authorities have recorded over 40 deaths among the workers, including those who died from malaria.

The causes of the deaths due to accidents ranged from falling from a high place while working, to electrocution and being hit by falling or swinging heavy construction materials.

Due to the fatal accidents at the Hanjin job site, the SBMA had issued two cease-and-desist orders (CDO) against the Korean firm, in June and July last year.

The CDO SBMA issued in July, however, only covered the Assembly Shop C section of the shipyard where the fatal accident occurred that time and not the entire facility, and was merely effective for seven days.

The SBMA, however, vowed to “impose further legal and regulatory measures” once Hanjin “fails to comply with health and safety requirements.” But several more deaths at the facility later, the SBMA has yet to impose heavier sanctions on the Korean firm. With PNA

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