Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Auto safety" is an oxymoron

Deadly car parts factory in Foshan, one of many such unsafe plants in China.

- the auto industry kills its workers as well as its customers -

Financial Times - car parts factory explosion kills 17 on Dec. 31, 2014

At least 17 workers were killed by explosions in an automotive components factory in southern China on New Year’s eve — the latest in a series of deadly industrial accidents in the world’s workshop.
State media reported that another 20 people were injured after three blasts ripped apart a machinery factory in Foshan, a manufacturing hub in Guangdong province, at 9.30am.
Executives at Fuwa Engineering, which makes truck components, could not be reached immediately for comment.
Car parts factory explosion kills 69 in August, 2014
[the death toll later increased to 75, then 146]
China’s president Xi Jinping has demanded an investigation into a factory explosion that killed at least 69 people and injured up to 187 in the country’s worst industrial accident in more than a year.
The blast ripped through a car parts factory in eastern China on Saturday, apparently when a flame was lit in a dust filled room in the plant, located in an industrial zone in the city of Kunshan, about 1,000km south of Beijing...
State television news showed footage of plumes of thick, black smoke rising from the plant, and news websites posted pictures of the dead or injured, many with horrific burns.
Many of the injured were shown lying on wooden pallets, waiting to be stretchered on to trucks, public buses and ambulances.

Questions: Does Toyota do on-site audits of its supplier plants for worker safety? Does it require its Tier 1 suppliers to do the same for lower tiers, all the way down the supply chain, so all workers are protected? What money value is placed on the lives of these dead workers? Do automakers compensate their families?