Samsung is setting aside 100 billion won ($85.56 million) to compensate employees that contracted illnesses while working in its semiconductor and display factories. The fund will also be used towards prevention measures.
Illnesses such as leukemia and lymphoma were attributed by workers, their families and outside experts to prolonged radiation exposure and dangerous chemicals, according to Reuters. The fund will be used pay workers -- including contractors -- that became ill while working in Samsung’s factories.
At least 200 workers have fallen ill while working at a Samsung factory since 2007. About 70 of those have died, according to advocacy group SHARPS -- Supports for the Health and Rights of People in the Semiconductor industry.
Last year, Samsung issued an apology to the families of its factory workers that fell ill to various forms of cancer. “We should have settled the issue earlier, and we are deeply heartbroken that we failed to do so and express our deep apology,” said Samsung Electronics CEO Kwon Oh-hyun in 2014. However, the company fell shy of admitting a direct link between its chip manufacturing and adverse health effects.
In addition to workers compensation, money from the fund will be used to pay for research and the development of new methods to increase worker safety within Samsung factories.
Samsung’s 2014 sustainability report also found the company had a long way to go to improve the conditions in its suppliers' factories. Of the 100 inspected at the time, 59 lacked adequate safety equipment and 33 failed to properly maintain waste disposal, according to the Verge.