Foxconn Knew Ahead Of Time About The Dust That Caused iPad 2 Facility Explosion

Foxconn Knew Ahead Of Time About The Dust That Caused iPad 2 Facility Explosion

The unexpected explosion that rocked Foxconn’s Chengdu facility on Friday killing three has been blamed upon a build up of combustible dust at the iPad 2 polishing plant. As a two-week old report on factory worker conditions makes clear, though, the dangers of allowing such dust to build-up has been brought to the attention of Foxconn and Apple before.

On May 6th, The Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (or SACOM) released a report on Foxconn working conditions throughout China.

At the Chendu facility, in particular, the report lingers over the “alarming” pccupational health and safety issues caused by huge amounts of airborne dust.

According to the report:

Workers in the polishing department also complain that the department is full of aluminum dust. Even though they have worn gloves, their hands are still covered by dust and so (is) their face and clothes. Some workers comment that ventilation on shop floor should be improved.

“I’m breathing in dust at Foxconn just like a vacuum cleaner. My nostrils are totally black every day,” said one employee.

The picture the report paints at the Chengdu facility is an unhygienic and dangerous one in which dust permeates everything, even through protective clothing, and where employees are often exhausted because of forced overtime. Granted, there’s no warning of explosions here, but even so, a cursory read is enough to make one thing very clear: dust was such a hazard at Chengdu that it was only a matter of time before it killed someone, one way or the other.

Given these conditions, which seem to be long existing and a frequently cited cause of concern at the Chengdu facility, is it any wonder that such a grave accident happened sooner rather than later? Suicides which may or may not be work condition related are one thing, but when people are dying over an issue that Foxconn has been warned in the past about by outside groups, it makes Foxconn appear criminally negligent, if not downright evil.

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  • prof_peabody

    Even dust explosions need an ignition source.  I would bet money that we will find out that someone’s addiction to cigarettes is the spark that killed those three people.   

  • trrosen

    Brownlee you are such a piece of crap. There have been no findings to the cause of this explosion yet. Your reporting of speculation and rumor is simply you exploiting the deaths of three people to pretend to have a sensational story. Yes it was most likely the aluminum dust that exploded but we have no information as to the ignition source or any safety issues being the cause yet.

  • Mike McLennan

     A report was released in the last few days about an American workplace dust explosion that killed 29, where workers were in constant fear for their lives over unsafe practices condoned by the management.

    Kudos to the first correct reply that identifies the above.

  • trrosen

    note there were some initial reports of a lightning strike before the explosion.

  • cheesy11

    hmm negligence in the employee environment right?so is the whole equality debate rearing its ugly head now?

  • iHate_Is_Back

    And I bet money that your mother repeatedly dropped you on your head when you were a baby. WTF does that have to do with a shitty unsafe work environment that was the direct cause of deaths moron?

  • iHate_Is_Back

    STFU you little Apple juice swilling maggot. Report after report gets issued month after month showing Foxxconn is a sweatshop employer and idiots like you still refuse to believe it. WTF is wrong with people like you? How assholes like you can be so fucking callous and heartless is beyond my understanding. WOW…..just fucking WOW is all I can think. To think I used to believe people in society had socially evolved to the point that their mental capacity was capable of grasping obvious facts resulting in them knowing the difference of right from wrong. You’re such an pathetic evil bastard trrosen. My sincerest wish is I hope one day you’re stuck on your death bed in agony alone suffering excruciating pain day after day for months on end. That’s what evil bastards like you deserve EXCRUCIATING UNENDING PAIN FOR ALL THE PAIN YOU HAVE SPREAD ONTO OTHERS.

    Pathetic evil cocksucker

  • iHate_Is_Back

    NOTE:
    I hope you die tomorrow you evil bastard

  • Peter Foghmar

    Are there any moderators looking at these comments? The language is beyond what to expect from small children…especially iHate_Is_Back proves to have earned the right to get banned or kicked sooner then later… or am I wrong?!

  • iHate_Is_Back

    Ehhhh blow me… go ahead and ban me. I’m so fed up with all your Foxxconn can do no wrong because Apple does business with them attitudes it’s sickening. Interesting you get riled up over swearing but don’t even blink when it’s people dying because of a sweatshop maggot. You’re so lame.

  • Peter Foghmar

    People here are trying to debate on a rational level – show some respect – no one likes to be called things they aren’t – I know for a fact that I am not lame – not so sure about you though ;-) Never ones did I say that Foxxconn can do no wrong. Of course they can and they must have since something blew up and people died.

  • trrosen

    It’s easy iHate. I live in the real world and I’ve worked in real factories. There are lots of worse places to work in the US trust me. For China, Foxconn is a workers paradise that doesn’t mean the job doesn’t suck. If you think there has been one report showing Foxconn to be a sweatshop then you have no idea what a sweatshop is. A sweatshop is that factory in bangledesh that made the shirt your wearing. Yes the hours are long and the pay is low and the work is dehumanizing still these works have a better life then a lot of fast food workers in America but I doubt you going to demand justice the next time your hungry for a burger.

    And not to excuse any mistakes Foxconn may have made but this is the worst thing to happen to their nearly 1,000,000 employees it’s still safer then working at Wal-Mart.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    Hey dude next time save some time and just type BAAHHHHH. That’s all I hear from people like you BAAAHHHHHHH Now go sit in the corner and chew your cud like a good little iSheep.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    I couldn’t care less about showing respect towards some of the people on here. They’ve yet to show an iota of respect towards others less fortunate then themselves therefore they deserve absolutely 0% respect from me in return. They don’t like me slapping them in the face they should shut up and keep their ignorant comments to themselves or at the very least try rephrasing their thoughts in a less ignorant fashion. It never ceases to amuse me how these people get bent out of shape when they’re disrespected but when its someone else being used and abused they only care about themselves and the impact it can have on them. This blog has proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that what the PC geeks say about Apple fanatics is true. Apple users really are mostly under worked overpaid ignorant self centered fan boys who think Jobs is their god and care about nothing but themselves and only care about keeping up appearances with a pretty overpriced computer. It’s one thing to choose to act like a complete jerk its completely another to willingly lie and misrepresent the cold hard facts because a fan boy chooses to not believe the obvious or only cares about keeping the poor poorer (insert the names of  Foxxconn employees here) because they’re to cheap to pay an extra 50 bucks on a stupid Apple toy. “Show some respect because nobody likes to be called things they’re not”…… pfftttttt they’re everything I’ve called them and much more. People like them are responsible for making others peoples lives miserable all so they can have a bigger house that they don’t need and more money in their wallets to buy more overpriced Apple toys that they also don’t need. These are people who have chosen to sell their own soul away for the love of money and social prestige and they’ve bought it with other peoples sweat. If you’re going to defend someone defend someone who deserves your help not a bunch of people who have the moral compass of a 5 dollar street corner whore. When the chips are down these people wouldn’t waste two seconds of their time on you so use your head and don’t waste your time on them because they’re not worth your time. A lost dog on the street is worth more your time then these waste of air cool aid swilling people are.

  • trrosen

    Go back on your meds and have Dr increase your dose you have serious emotional issues.

  • iHate_Is_Back

    Fuck you fascist pig

  • iHate_Is_Back

    @
    @google-66e6409380c05c59e325574fab3a9746:disqus rof. Peabody
    @trrosen
    @8de0f582c174496e2c02b2bb3d94d239:disqus

    Read the following link and then tell me foxxconn is a good place to work and that they’re not already trying to cover up their mess.

    http://micgadget.com/12690/lat

  • tomthebomb024

    right, hes a fascist alright. 
    iHate, this is a message for you good sir. 
    I am not an apple fanboy, I am not a foxconn supporter, I am not anyone who you are claiming to hate. Yet I can tell you without a doubt, your behavior is unsavory, and unwarranted. If you would like, I can translate that into something you can understand “Shut the fuck up you pious, self serving piece of shit. No one cares what the fuck you are saying, not even yourself. SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU HATEFUL PIECE OF SHIT”. Hope you can understand, have a nice day!

  • tomthebomb024

    NOTE: You’re just as bad as Foxconn if you can say that with a clear conscious. Sounds like something a 21 year old, emotionally shattered alcoholic would say.

  • tomthebomb024

    working conditions that receive no news coverage are the worst. grow up iHate, your level of outrage clearly shows you plan to do nothing but whine at anyone who has anything to say

  • iHate_Is_Back

    Hey cocksucker the only hater is pieces of shit like you who probably doesn’t care about people because they’re of other nationalities. It’s pieces of lowlife shit like you that sit on their fucking lazy asses while the poor in the world toil for your fancy gadgets. It’s pieces of shit like you who throw out condescending words against those who break a sweat for their bread all the while you probably haven’t broken a sweat for your pay in years. For the record crawling under your bosses desk to suck his cock isn’t considered breaking a sweat it’s considered being a cocksucker. Go back to your cubicle like a good little drone you ignorant little man that’s all people like you are good for. As for me shutting up FUCK YOU I WON’T SHUT UP ABOUT FOXXCONN. Now go do the world a favor and go jump out a 10th story window you waste of flesh.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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