Work­place safety to tighten

New law would hold own­ers per­son­ally li­able for haz­ardous con­di­tions

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By XU WEI xuwei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Busi­ness own­ers could be charged crim­i­nally in the fu­ture if their op­er­a­tions have the po­ten­tial for a ma­jor ac­ci­dent, even if no ac­ci­dent has oc­curred, ac­cord­ing to a new guideline on work safety.

The guideline on the re­form and de­vel­op­ment of work­place safety, which was made pub­lic by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment on Sun­day, said law­mak­ers will con­sider amend­ments to the crim­i­nal law to pun­ish com­pany be­hav­iors that could lead to an ac­ci­dent.

The guideline came as the coun­try saw five ma­jor work safety ac­ci­dents, in­clud­ing four in­volv­ing coal mines, in the past three months in which a to­tal of at least 179 peo­ple were killed, ac­cord­ing to the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Work Safety, the coun­try’s watch­dog.

Amend­ing the law would ad­dress the prob­lem of a lack of a de­ter­rent force in the work safety area, where ne­glect or ir­re­spon­si­ble acts by man­age­ment lead to an ac­ci­dent, a state­ment from the watch­dog said.

Yu An, vice-pres­i­dent of the China Ad­min­is­tra­tive Law So­ci­ety and a pro­fes­sor at Ts­inghua Univer­sity, said that only crim­i­nal charges can ef­fec­tively pre­vent dan­ger­ous ne­glect.

“Pre­vi­ously the au­thor­i­ties were only fo­cus­ing on the ac­tual dam­age,” he said. “Given that cer­tain ac­tions are ca­pa­ble of re­sult­ing in ma­jor harm to the pub­lic in­ter­est, crim­i­nal charges are ap­pro­pri­ate.”

Yu said it could take at least six months for the amend­ments to the crim­i­nal law to be re­viewed by the coun­try’s leg­is­la­ture.

The guideline said that peo­ple’s con­gresses at city or pro­vin­cial lev­els should also be al­lowed to make safety reg­u­la­tions of their own to pre­vent work­place ac­ci­dents. It said the coun­try will also re­view the con­sis­tency of cur­rent work safety laws and re­move parts that are in­con­sis­tent or even in con­flict with each other.

China saw 282,000 work safety ac­ci­dents in 2015, which were re­spon­si­ble for the deaths of 66,000 peo­ple, the watch­dog said.

The num­ber of ac­ci­dents and deaths were down by 73.6 per­cent and 52.8 per­cent, re­spec­tively, com­pared with 2002.

The guideline said the coun­try will strengthen risk eval­u­a­tion and man­age­ment in new ma­te­ri­als, new pro­duc­tion meth­ods and new op­er­a­tions, as well as es­tab­lish an in­for­ma­tion man­age­ment sys­tem for ma­jor sources of risks.

It will also push for­ward the use of in­dus­trial ro­bots and smart equip­ment to per­form dan­ger­ous work, and it will em­ploy big-data tech­nol­ogy to an­a­lyze safety pat­terns and rel­e­vance.

Ling Wen, an aca­demi­cian at the Chi­nese Acad­emy of Engi­neer­ing, said in­vest­ment in science and tech­nol­ogy is cru­cial to pre­vent ac­ci­dents.

“To me, safety man­age­ment is all about whether safety tech­nolo­gies are in place. It is im­por­tant to iden­tify all the sources of risks and mon­i­tor them in real time,” said Ling, who is also gen­eral man­ager of Shen­hua Group, China’s largest coal miner.

In the coal sec­tor, for ex­am­ple, it is im­por­tant to push for­ward prac­tices to mon­i­tor gas den­sity in real time and es­tab­lish an alarm sys­tem to evac­u­ate min­ers be­fore the den­sity reaches dan­ger­ous lev­els, he said, adding that pro­vid­ing ad­e­quate train­ing for work­ers is also im­por­tant.

“We need all work­ers to re­al­ize where the risks lie and how to avoid or fix them be­fore go­ing into the shaft,” he said.

The guideline said the coun­try will also im­prove its safety stan­dards for in­fra­struc­ture in cities, as well as step up safety su­per­vi­sion in places of pub­lic ac­com­mo­da­tion, given China’s in­ten­si­fied ur­ban­iza­tion rate.

Given that cer­tain ac­tions are ca­pa­ble of re­sult­ing in ma­jor harm to the pub­lic in­ter­est, crim­i­nal charges are ap­pro­pri­ate.” Yu An, vice-pres­i­dent of the China Ad­min­is­tra­tive Law So­ci­ety and a pro­fes­sor at Ts­inghua Univer­sity Av­er­age monthly ex­pen­di­ture by Chi­nese women to en­hance beauty

The sur­vey in­ter­viewed 7,700 “aes­thet­i­cally aware” women from 16 coun­tries, who were be­tween 18 and 65 years of age.

Aes­thet­i­cally aware women were de­fined as those who gave pos­i­tive an­swers to at least two of the three ques­tions, in­clud­ing: “It’s im­por­tant for me to look good for my age”; “I care about im­prov­ing my fa­cial ap­pear­ance”; and “Spend­ing money on im­prov­ing my ap­pear­ance is worth­while”.

Most of the women sur­veyed in China were from wealthy ar­eas of Bei­jing, Shang­hai or Guangzhou, cap­i­tal of Guang­dong prov­ince.

“I would say Chi­nese pa­tients are the most dra­matic,” said Wof­fles Wu, a prom­i­nent plas­tic sur­geon in Sin­ga­pore. His clinic re­ceives 30 to 40 pa­tients from China ev­ery month. A few years ago, the num­ber was in sin­gle dig­its, he said.

“Some pa­tients come with no fi­nan­cial limit and just want to achieve the best pos­si­ble re­sults they can. They are will­ing to fly back and forth again and again,” he said.

Chi­nese women’s fer­vor for seek­ing beauty pushed the coun­try’s aes­thetic medicine mar­ket to 400 bil­lion yuan in 2015. It is pro­jected to soar by 20 per­cent an­nu­ally, ac­cord­ing to the Chi­nese As­so­ci­a­tion of Plas­tics and Aes­thet­ics. It is now the third-largest mar­ket, af­ter the United States and Brazil.

Re­search for the re­port — The Chang­ing Faces of Beauty: A Global Re­port — was con­ducted in March by phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany Al­ler­gan Plc, based i n Dublin, Ire­land.

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