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Olefins III. PIP inspections at Orlen's investment revealed a number of irregularities

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The National Labor Inspectorate detected “numerous cases of violations of occupational health and safety regulations” at the construction site of the Olefiny III complex near Płock, carried out by Orlen. Inspectors have completed nine of their thirteen inspections, but are still examining the legality of the employment of foreigners. – If any irregularities are found, we will act decisively – emphasized Chief Labor Inspector Marcin Stanecki.

As the National Labor Inspectorate (PIP) announced on Wednesday, 9 out of 13 inspections initiated in May this year at the construction site of the Olefiny III petrochemical complex near Płock have already been completed. “Inspectors revealed numerous cases of violations of occupational health and safety regulations, typical for construction work,” we read in the release.

Read also: Employing immigrants without checking the legality of their stay. “Unacceptable solution”

Inspectors fined six people. The sum of fines amounted to PLN 9,700. “In addition, during the inspection, inspectors issued 52 oral decisions, 20 written decisions and 5 motions in speeches,” we read in the release.

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Each of these decisions concerned irregularities “in the application of occupational health and safety regulations to individual employees and teams at risk of loss of health or life.”

Exploitation of foreigners during Orlen's investment. Material Notes! TVN

Examples of irregularities

PIP provided examples of such situations. The construction site was not properly secured, among others: walls of the trench in which the installation was built, approximately 1.5 meters deep. Safe entry and exit from the excavation was not ensured, and the excavated material was stored directly at the edge of the excavation. Additionally, the danger zone during earthworks carried out with mechanized equipment was not fenced off – the workers were within the working range of the excavator.

The workers were also not protected against falling from a height of approximately 1.5 meters, which was the edge of the tank when entering from the ladder. “Employees were standing at the edge of the tank and transporting construction materials. They were equipped with personal protective equipment to protect against falls from a height, but they did not use them,” the inspection said.

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The inspectors also mentioned the following shortcomings: lack of proper supervision of work at heights, lack of danger zones in connection with the transport of loads up and down, incorrect and dangerous installation of system scaffolding or failure to use protective helmets by employees.

PIP activities still cover several entrepreneurs and several hundred employees at the construction site of the Olefiny III complex. The inspections concern the legality of employment and legal labor protection, in particular in the field of remuneration.

– I assure you that inspectors work to verify all signals of irregularities and violations of labor law provisions. If they are confirmed, we will act decisively within the limits of our competences, emphasized Chief Labor Inspector Marcin Stanecki in the announcement.

Read also: MAP dismisses a member of Orlen's supervisory board

Exploitation at the Orlen construction site. Investigation “Attention!” TVN

Reporters “Attention!” TVN conducted a journalistic investigationin which at the beginning of May they disclosed, among other things, incomplete and late payments to employees, lack of employment contracts or insurance, terrible housing conditions and inappropriate treatment.

Conditions in which foreigners lived Attention! TVN

About all this “Attention!” told by foreigners working on the construction of a plant worth PLN 25 billion. Two of them were thrown out of the hotel where they were staying when they demanded their contracts and outstanding salaries. There were also security problems. – Some materials at the construction site were dangerous. We had protective clothing, but the masks didn't work. Each time I had a cough, a very bad cough – this is how one of the protagonists of the report described the conditions in which he had to work.

Conditions in which foreigners lived Attention! TVN

The employees were acquired for Orlen's investment by a Korean employment agency. After TVN's report, representatives of the investor Orlen announced that cooperation with this one Korean employment agency would be ended. After the material on employment conditions for investment the inspection was initiated by the National Labor Inspectorate.

They also complained about scandalous working conditions in conversations with journalists Polish employees and entrepreneurs.

Orlen's investment – Olefiny III near Płock

Orlen's main production plant, the largest refinery and petrochemical complex in Poland and one of the largest in Europe, is located in Płock. The company signed a contract for the construction of the Olefin III installation complex in June 2021 with Hyundai Engineering based in Seoul and Tecnicas Reunidas based in Madrid.

The investment is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2027. In 2023, when the construction of the Olefin III installation was already underway, a container town for employees was built nearby, able to accommodate approximately six thousand people. The concern then informed that, according to the investment contractor's data, workers were and would be employed to work on the construction site, including: from South Korea and Spainand also with IndiaMalaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Turkey and Turkmenistan.

In response to questions from tvn24.pl, the company from Płock informed in May that it was “conducting inspection proceedings regarding compliance with employee rights by the consortium of Hyundai Engineering Co. and Técnicas Reunidas SA.” “In recent weeks alone, we have carried out a number of inspections at the Olefina III construction site, including occupational health and safety, and after the latest reports of irregularities, the scope of the inspections will be deepened,” Orlen's press office assured then.

Reports Attention! can be watched on player.pl.

tvn24.pl, PAP, Fakty TVN, Attention! TVN

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