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A new report from TIME shares more details about the actual problems at Foxconn’s factory complex in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. Aside from the former food safety and accommodation problems reported that caused the temporary shutdown of the factory, the new report details more “highly hazardous” details that reportedly put workers’ lives in danger.

The issue caused the iPhone plant to temporarily halt operations in 2021, resulting in inspections and audits. As expected, this revealed issues like worm-infected foods, problematic toilets, and crowded rooms. TIME noted that both Apple and Foxconn tried to save their names by making the impression that the subcontractors managing the hostels where the workers stayed were to blame for the issue, suggesting that the problem was not on the actual factory. However, the outlet’s new report shares that the Tamil Nadu state government’s inspector found a long list of issues on the production floor.

According to the report, six workers used to manually solder iPhone components without wearing protective equipment. The process was described as “highly hazardous to the health of workers.” Insufficient ventilation further worsened the condition, which reportedly failed to allow “the escape and spread of toxic fumes into the working environment.”

Other details include the lack of other protective equipment, problematic machines, and workers being required to work on weekends and without leave:

In another part of the factory, the inspector found that workers “were not provided with suitable goggles to protect their eyes from the excessive light and infrared radiation.” He identified 77 pieces of automated machinery that were missing crucial “interlock” mechanisms on their doors to prevent operation under dangerous conditions, and 262 instances of missing guards on pressing machinery. The lack of these protective mechanisms, the letter said, posed a risk of bodily injury. And six large industrial ovens used to attach tiny electrical components to iPhone circuit boards, the letter said, had not been “tested by a competent person” before factory workers were expected to use them.

The inspection also found several apparent employment-law violations, according to the letter. At least 11 workers in the factory, it said, had been required to work excessively high hours for the past three months. At least 17 workers had been required to work on Sundays—usually their only weekly day off—without being given a replacement day of leave within three days. “All latrines and urinals in the factory were not maintained in clean and sanitary conditions at all times,” the letter said, and debris was present on the ground floor of the factory that presented a safety risk. The factory manager had failed to keep a register of workers in the factory or a register of their wages, the inspector claimed. And more than 4,500 of the 6,126 workers in the factory at the time of inspection were allegedly employed not by Foxconn, but by 11 different subcontractors that were not legally registered with the Tamil Nadu directorate of industrial safety and health.

As expected, Apple and Foxconn didn’t comment on the details shared in the story. Nonetheless, a spokesperson of the former assured that the audits in the place have become more frequent, adding Foxconn has made some “improvements” in the plant.

“The issues at Foxconn Sriperumbudur were investigated and addressed a year and a half ago and we placed the facility on probation,” the spokesperson told TIME. “During this period Foxconn invested in significant improvements and through quarterly, and at times weekly audits, Apple and independent auditors have tracked meaningful upgrades to the facility with frequent visits and employee interviews.”


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