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China begins nationwide workplace safety inspection

Updated: Sep 5,2017 4:28 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The Work Safety Committee of the State Council has sent 31 inspection teams to provincial-level regions to check that work safety rules are being followed.

The inspection result will factor into local government annual performance assessments, according to the State Administration of Work Safety.

The inspectors will visit local governments to address work safety problems. They will also pay random visits to key enterprises, according to Fu Jianhua, deputy head of the State Administration of Work Safety.

Local governments and departments will be held accountable if local checks fail to discover major work-safety hazards in companies, or if local authorities do not punish companies after major problems are detected, Fu said.

From Aug 13 to 25, inspectors found local authorities in 18 provinces and municipalities had made progress in work-safety during an inspection targeting businesses such as coal mines, fireworks factories and chemical companies.

Despite regular demands for more focus on work safety, frequent tragedies occur. A lack of safety awareness, poor regulation and lax implementation of safety measures are among the risk factors.

In an “extremely severe” accident, at least 36 people were killed and 13 injured on an expressway in Northwest China’s Shaanxi province this month.

“Extremely severe” refers to accidents that either cause more than 30 deaths, leave more than 100 severely injured or result in more than 100 million yuan (about $15 million) in direct economic losses.

The number of work-safety accidents fell 24.7 percent year on year in the January - July period, while fatalities fell 16.8 percent.