China to Tighten Work Safety Supervision
The State Council, or China's Cabinet, has issued a package of regulations aimed at improving the country's industrial safety record.
The new policies will substantially raise the level of compensation for victims in the hope of persuading companies to increase their safety levels.
XYee has the detail.
The State Administration of Work Safety says the number of fatal workplace accidents in China has been on the decline in recent years.
But despite this trend the number of deaths from workplace accidents still remains shockingly high.
Statistics from the work safety watchdog show that workplace accidents killed about 187 people every day in the first half of 2010.
In its newly issued package of regulations, the State Council vows to enhance workplace safety, particularly in mines, transportation and construction industries.
The regulations require officials of state-owned and private mines to work underground with miners. This way, the government aims to raise the management's awareness of workplace safety.
Moreover, all mines are obliged to keep in place appropriate safety equipment, including position-locating systems for miners working underground and emergency telecommunication devices.
In addition, companies will have to pay much more to compensate the families of accident victims.
Huang Yi, spokesman of the State Administration of Work Safety, explains.
"The annual per capita disposable income of our country's urban residents is about 17,000 yuan. According to the new polices, a family of a worker killed in a workplace accident will get 20 times the urban per capita disposable income of the previous year in one-off compensation payment. Combined with other allowances, a victim's family can receive at least 600,000 yuan in total compensation."
The new compensation legislation will be introduced from the beginning of next year.
Currently, a victim's family only receives 48 to 60 times of the local average monthly wage of the previous year. According to these figures, a family may only receive a one-off compensation of up to 150,000 yuan.
Yang Yu, a current affairs commentator, says the new compensation standard will compel enterprises to pay more attention to workplace safety.
"Life can never be measured by money. It will never be enough for a victim's family no matter how high the compensation is.
But the increased compensation will make enterprises more sensitive to workplace accidents, which will effectively cost them more money. Therefore, enterprises will feel the need to improve their safety standards."
To further enhance employers' awareness of work safety, China is also considering collecting compulsory premiums from employers for work-related injury insurance based on their accident records.
Huang Yi, spokesman of the national work safety watchdog, explains how the new measures will work.
"If a company had fewer workplace accidents last year, the government will reduce its premiums for work-related injury insurance this year. In contrast, the payment will be raised if the work safety record was bad."
The spokesman added that China also intends to establish national rescue teams in coal-producing regions to enable quick response to coal mine accidents.
The first seven teams will be set up in areas which are rich in coal resources, including Datong in Shanxi Province and Pingdingshan in Henan Province.
For CRI, I'm XYee.