In­spec­tions led to safer work­places, watch­dog re­ports

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By HOU LIQIANG houliqiang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Work­place ac­ci­dents and deaths in China dropped in the first half of this year as the govern­ment stepped up in­spec­tions, the top safety watch­dog said on Thurs­day.

The num­ber of work­place ac­ci­dents from Jan­uary to June plunged by 25.4 per­cent year-on-year to 2,240, while the death toll in those ac­ci­dents dropped by 17.4 per­cent to 1,620, Su Jie, a State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Work Safety of­fi­cial, said at a news con­fer­ence.

“The work safety sit­u­a­tion im­proved in most pro­vin­cial re­gions. Both the num­ber of ac­ci­dents and the death toll de­clined in 22 of the 32 pro­vin­cial re­gions mon­i­tored, and no ma­jor ac­ci­dent hap­pened in 21 of them,” Su said.

The im­prove­ments were the re­sult of more rig­or­ous safety in­spec­tions, she said, adding that 40 new clauses have been added to in­spec­tion reg­u­la­tions so far in 2017.

She noted that 24 en­ter­prises were shut down in 16 pro­vin­cial re­gions, and pro­duc­tion at 53 en­ter­prises was sus­pended over safety haz­ards.

“Many of the ac­ci­dents this year hap­pened be­cause of il­le­gal pro­duc­tion. Some hap­pened in en­ter­prises that op­er­ated with­out au­tho­riza­tion, and some failed to follow pro­ce­dures re­quired by State laws or reg­u­la­tions,” Su said. Some work­ers also died be­cause of im­proper res­cue tech­niques, she added.

Su said a four-month in­spec­tion mech­a­nism was

work­place ac­ci­dents were re­ported from Jan­uary to June, down 25.4 per­cent year-on-year. The death toll in those ac­ci­dents dropped by 17.4 per­cent to 1,620.

re­newed in July in the govern­ment’s lat­est ef­fort to en­sure work safety — a re­quire­ment of the State Coun­cil, China’s Cabi­net.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion had in­spected 5,476 coal mines, or 67 per­cent of the coun­try’s to­tal, as of the end of June. In­spec­tors found 886 safety haz­ards, and the ad­min­is­tra­tion levied to­tal fines of nearly 140 mil­lion yuan ($20.8 mil­lion), said Xue Jian­guang, spokesman for the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

He said gas ex­plo­sions were to blame in six of the 13 ma­jor ac­ci­dents in coal mines this year.

Small coal mines were sin­gled out as a par­tic­u­lar prob­lem.

“It has been a prob­lem that some small coal mines vi­o­lated laws and reg­u­la­tions, yet con­tin­ued to op­er­ate af­ter be­ing or­dered to sus­pend pro­duc­tion,” he said.

“Of the seven ma­jor ac­ci­dents that oc­curred in small coal mines, three hap­pened in mines that had re­sumed op­er­a­tions with­out the ap­proval of au­thor­i­ties,” he added.

He said the ad­min­is­tra­tion is con­tin­u­ing to weed out small coal mines with an an­nual out­put of less than 90,000 met­ric tons.

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