By Kim Yoo-chul
Samsung Group, the nation's most-powerful conglomerate, said Wednesday it will hire 150 experienced environmental experts in order to improve its working environment and enhance safety checks.
The move came after Samsung Electronics made a public apology for the fatal gas leak at one of its chip-making plants that left one contract worker dead and four others injured.
This is the first time that the group announced plans to recruit environmental professionals. Under the plan, the group's 16 technology affiliates including Samsung Electronics and SDI will hire a total of 150 professionals.
''After the recent gas leak accident, Samsung checked up to find out what should be done to guarantee environmental safety in our manufacturing facilities. This hiring is part of our promise to fundamentally change our safety system,'' said Samsung president Rhee In-yong, who is also the chief communications officer at the group, in a briefing to local reporters at its main office in Seoul.
Separately, the group also plans to hire 150 new employees with degrees in environmental safety-related studies, Rhee told reporters.
In late January, as much as 10 liters of hydrofluoric acid leaked from Samsung Electronics' memory chip-making lines located in the provincial city of Hwaseong which is believed to have endangered thousands of people who live and work in the area.
Police are still investigating whether Samsung violated the law when reporting the incident.
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman and co-CEO Kwon Oh-hyun earlier said in a statement that it will change its system relating to environmental safety, and thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident to prevent future occurrences.