A fatal factory accident at LG Display's panel manufacturing facility located in the immediate vicinity of Paju, South Korea, has taken the life of one of the company's factory workers on Wednesday. Local media outlets are reporting that the employee was killed while in the process of performing regular maintenance and repair of some unspecified machines, though the identity and exact job title of the victim haven't been disclosed as of this writing. The incident immediately halted all operations at the facility, with local authorities starting an immediate investigation into the matter. The probe is expected to take no less than two weeks and may last for more than a month, with no operations being allowed until authorities manage to determine the cause of the tragic incident.
The ordeal is likely to worsen the already low supply of large display panels that some industry watchers expect will hit a record-low during the third quarter of the year, with many TV manufacturers reportedly planning to ramp up their manufacturing activities in this period. That state of affairs will likely lead to a surge in prices of larger panels, with some analysts expecting LG Display to miss out on manufacturing up to 715,000 square meters of panels if its 8.5G line remains halted for an entire month. Consumer electronics makers that were planning large-scale productions of 49-inch and 55-inch TVs will likely be hit the hardest by the shortage and will either have to downsize their manufacturing operations or outbid their rivals that are also seeking the same panels. Even though an increase in production costs is often passed on to consumers, the situation may still affect profit margins of TV makers in a significant manner, some analysts claim.
The effects of LG Display's plant being shut down will likely be observable as soon as next month, though it's currently unclear how quickly will the industry manage to recover from the shortage. Likewise, the Seoul-based firm may lose a number of clients to competitors in the short-term due to not being able to fulfill their orders in time, though its mobile panel operations shouldn't be affected by the tragic accident.