Apple’s Foxconn Reopens After Deadly Explosion
Apple’s supplier, Foxconn has resumed operations at its Chengdu plant in China, after an explosion killed three employees last month. The company has ended its investigation into the incident and has implemented safeguards that it claims will prevent a similar situation from happening.
The company stated that the accident was due to an explosion of aluminum dust in a ventilation duct, and that the company has solved this issue by improving workshop ventilation (as if employee air quality wasn’t reason enough). Foxconn went on to say that they will improve other safety conditions if they discover any additional threats to workers’ safety.
The plant’s reopening should ensure that there are no shortfalls in iPad production, but this does not necessarily clear Apple from all wrong doing. Some people believe that high consumer demand for Apple products put a great strain on Apple’s production facilities in China, where workers are often overworked, putting in 60-80 hour work weeks on a regular basis. As an educated consumer, I think Apple would rather overwork its employees in a single Chinese factory than open another factory and impose fair working conditions. Unfortunately, many corporations (not just Apple) only see numbers and profit margins, and seem to lose track of the human investment involved in production.