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(Danish Report):Maersk violated the regulation of chemical and led to worker's death

Mærsk-arbejders død skaber kemikaliestrid

21 March 2010 (in Dannish only)
Skrevet af: Peter Rasmussen

http://www.information.dk/227950

Oprettet 22/03/2010 - 20:30

Mærsk afviser at have brugt det kræftfremkaldende stof, benzen, på sin containerfabrik i Kina. Selskabets egne oplysninger til de ansatte fortæller en anden historie

En metalarbejders tragiske død har skabt strid om brugen af farlige kemikalier på A.P. Møller-Mærsks containerfabrik i det sydlige Kina.

33-årige Mo Desong arbejdede tre år på Maersk Container Industry i Dongguan. Han sprøjtemalede de Mærsk-containere, som rederiets skibe fragter rundt på kloden. Desong fik konstateret arbejdsrelateret benzenforgiftning og afgik ved døden den 30. oktober 2009, da de vitale organer satte ud. Benzen er et kræftfremkaldende kemikalie, der ikke længere benyttes i maling og opløsningsmidler i Danmark.

Den offentlige sygesikring har pålagt Mærsk at betale erstatning til Desongs efterladte, fordi han led en ‘arbejdsrelateret død’.

Den danske transportkoncern skal betale et beløb, der svarer til 293.000 kr. i erstatning til Mo Desongs efterladte. Ifølge Mærsk har selskabet desuden valgt at betale støtte til transport- og leveomkostninger til Mo Desongs familie efter hans død.

A.P. Møller-Mærsk anser det for meget usandsynligt, at Mo Desong blev syg af at arbejde på selskabets containerfabrik. Alligevel har selskabet accepteret at skulle betale erstatning.

»Af hensyn til de efterladte har vi ikke ønsket at trække denne tragiske sag i langdrag,« forklarer Morten Høstrup.

Vi brugte ikke benzen

Spørgsmålet om, hvorvidt Mo Desong og andre arbejdere på fabrikken er blevet udsat for opløsningsmidler med det kræftfremkaldende stof, benzen, deler vandene.

»Nej, ikke på noget tidspunkt siden fabrikkens start i 2006 og heller ikke i dag,« svarer Morten Høstrup, leder af human ressources på fabrikken til spørgsmålet.

Alligevel kan den Hong Kong-baserede ngo, Globalization Monitor fremvise et sikkerhedsopslag fra fabrikshallen med følgende tekst:

»Den maling og fortynder, vi bruger, indeholder benzen og toluen.«

Forelagt papiret fra fabrikken, erkender Morten Høstrup, at dokumentet stammer fra Mærsk-fabrikken. Der er tale om en ‘unøjagtighed’, fortæller han.

»Benzen har været udbredt i industrier verden over og findes i dag i utallige materialer på mange steder. Benzen-niveauet hos Maersk Container er meget lavt, og en unøjagtighed i et opslag ændrer ikke ved det faktum, at vi ikke bruger og ikke har brugt benzen i vores produktion,« forklarer Morten Høstrup.

Han fortæller, at myndighedernes kontrol viser, at indholdet af benzen i luften på fabrikken ikke overskrider grænserne for sundhedsfare.

Svaret vækker undren i Globalization Monitor:

»Når ledelsen systematisk har gjort alt, hvad den kunne, for at skjule arbejdsskaderne hos de ansatte, virker det ikke troværdigt, at denne vigtige oplysning til arbejderne var en simpel fejl,« siger May Wong fra ngo’en. I senere opslag på fabrikken bekendtgør selskabet, at den maling, der benyttes, ikke indeholder benzen.

Bandlyst i Danmark

På grund af sundhedsfare, bliver stoffet ikke brugt i opløsningsmidler og maling i Danmark:

»Jeg har ikke set benzen i opløsningsmidler i Danmark i nyere tid. I praksis er der et forbud mod at bruge stoffet i opløsningsmidler herhjemme, og reglerne er de samme i hele EU. Det er ikke forsvarligt at bruge opløsningsmidler med benzen, da stoffet skader knoglemarven og kan give leukæmi,« forklarer Mogens Kragh Hansen, der er toksikolog i Arbejdsmiljøhuset.

HR-chef Morten Høstrup kalder det meget usandsynligt, at Desong blev forgiftet med benzen på den danske fabrik.

»Inden Mo Desong kom til Maersk Container, var han i cirka otte år ansat på en anden containerfabrik, hvor han ifølge eget udsagn arbejdede med maling med videre,« fortæller Morten Høstrup.

En af Desongs sygejournaler nævner ligeledes det tidligere job. Men det er ikke korrekt, at metalarbejderen havde med maling og kemikalier at gøre, ifølge hans enke, Zhou Su An.

»Han arbejdede ikke med maling, men med samling af containere i sit tidligere job. Og før han begyndte hos Mærsk, gennemgik han en helbredsundersøgelse, som viste, at hans helbred var OK,« siger Zhou Su An.

Ifølge Mærsk har Mo Desongs efterladte afvist et tilbud om obduktion af den afdøde arbejder for at fastslå dødsårsagen. Det afviser Globalization Monitor, der har fulgt sagen.

»Det var derimod Mo Desongs enke, der først bad om en obduktion for at påvise, at hans død var relateret til hans job. Myndighederne har nu afgjort, at det var tilfældet,« siger May Wong fra Globalization Monitor

. Maersk-worker's death creates chemical violation
Written by: Peter Rasmussen
Created 22/03/2010 - 20:30

Maersk denies having used the carcinogen benzene, on its container plant in China. The company's own information to the employees tell a different story
A metal worker's tragic death has created dispute about the use of dangerous chemicals on the AP Moller-Maersk's container factory in southern China.

33-year-old Mo Desong worked three years at Maersk Container Industry in Dongguan. He spray painted the Maersk container, as the company ships cargoes around the globe. Desong was diagnosed with occupational benzene poisoning and died on 30th October 2009, when the vital organs put out. Benzene is a carcinogenic chemical that is no longer used in paints and solvents in Denmark.

Public health insurance Maersk has ordered to pay compensation to survivors Desongs because he suffered a 'work-related death'.

The Danish transport group must pay an amount equal to DKK 293,000 in compensation to Mo Desongs survivors. According to Maersk, the company has also opted to pay support for transport and living costs for Mo Desongs family after his death.

A.P. Moller-Maersk Group considers it very unlikely that Mo Desong was sick of working at the company's container mill. Yet the company has agreed to pay compensation.

'For the sake of the survivors, we have no desire to drag this tragic case of delays, "explains Morten Høstrup.

We did not use benzene
The question of whether Mo Desong and other workers at the plant were exposed to solvents with the carcinogen, benzene, opinion is divided.

"No, not at any time since the factory starting in 2006 and even today, 'corresponds Morten Høstrup, head of human resources at the factory to the issue.

Nevertheless, the Hong Kong-based NGO, Globalization Monitor show a security bulletin from the factory hall with the following text:

"The paint and thinner, we use contains benzene and toluene."

Presented paper at the factory, Morten Høstrup acknowledges that the document comes from Maersk factory. There is an 'inaccuracy' he says.

"Benzene has been widely used in industries around the world and exists today in many materials in many places. Benzene levels at Maersk Container is very low, and an inaccuracy in an advertisement does not change the fact that we are not using and have not used benzene in our production, "explains Morten Høstrup.

He says that the control shows that the concentration of benzene in the air at the factory does not exceed the limits of health.

The answer arouses amazement of Globalization Monitor:

"When management has systematically done everything it could to conceal work injuries among employees, it does not seem credible that this important information for the work was a simple mistake," said May Wong from the NGO. In later postings on the factory announces it to the paint used, do not contain benzene.

Banned in Denmark
Because of health, becomes the substance is used in solvents and paints in Denmark:

"I have not seen in benzene solvent in Denmark in recent times. In practice, there is a prohibition against using the substance in the solvents at home, and the rules are the same throughout the EU. It is not reasonable to use solvents with benzene as the drug damages the bone marrow and may cause leukemia, "explains Mogens Kragh Hansen, who is toxicologist at Work house.

HR Manager Morten Høstrup call it very unlikely that Desong was poisoned with benzene at the Danish factory.

"Before Mo Desong came to Maersk Container, he was about eight years engaged in a second container factory where he worked, according to their own figures with paint and so on," says Morten Høstrup.

One of Desongs medical records also mentions the previous job. But it is not true that the metal workers had with paints and chemicals to make, according to his widow, Zhou Su An.

He worked not with paint but with the collection of containers in the previous job. And before joining Maersk, he underwent a medical examination, which showed that his health was OK, "says Zhou Su An.

According to Maersk's Mo Desongs survivors rejected the offer of autopsy of the deceased worker in order to determine the cause of death. It rejects Globalization Monitor, which has followed the case.

"It was contrary Mo Desongs widow, who first asked for an autopsy to prove that his death was related to his job. The authorities have now decided that it was the case, "said May Wong from Globalization Monitor

Kilde: http://www.information.dk/227950

 

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