Workers at nearly 8,000 construction sites in Shanghai were
asked to put down their tools for an hour to undergo safety
training on Thursday.
The local government ordered the sessions in response to several
deadly construction accidents over the past few days. Such
accidents have killed eight people in the city this month
The government also vowed to conduct a thorough investigation of
safety problems at major construction sites around the city.
"The accidents reflect the carelessness of construction managers
and the loopholes in our supervision system, particularly in rural
areas," Sun Jianping, deputy director of the Shanghai Construction
and Transport Commission, said on Thursday.
There have been 27 construction accidents in the city so far
this year, the majority being falls from buildings or scaffolding
and electric shocks. The number represents an increase of 50
percent from the same period last year, and the accidents have led
to eight deaths, all during April.
On April 19, a two-story-high scaffolding around a building in
the Qingcun Town economic development zone on in Fengxian District
collapsed, killing two workers and injuring four others.
On April 17, the roof collapsed on a two-story dormitory
building belonging to the Fusheng Compressor Factory in Songjiang
District, killing one worker and injuring 13 others.
Commission officials said they will impose tougher punishments
on construction companies that fail to take proper safety measure
to protect their workers, but they did not offer any specifics.
Nationwide, employers in high-risk sectors, including coal
mines, will now be required to carry injury insurance for their
Social security officials said that safety licenses, which are
necessary for any high-risk company to operate, will be denied to
enterprises that lack the compulsory insurance.
Sun Zhi, an insurance official with the Ministry of Labor and
Social Security (MLSS), told China Daily that the MLSS and
the State Administration of Work Safety are jointly implementing
Before the implementation of the new policy, employees in
high-risk sectors -- often migrant workers -- were not covered by
any standard workers' compensation insurance. Despite measures
adopted by some local governments, many disputes arose when
accidents took place.
Now employers must pay injury insurance premiums and tell their
employees about the insurance, said Sun.
The policy will cover various types of injuries, including those
suffered during business trips and vehicle accidents, injuries
occurring on the way to or from work, and those incurred in the
course of emergency rescue operations.
By the end of March, injury insurance covered a total of 70.1
million workers. The MLSS vowed that 75 million workers would be
covered by the end of the year.
There are an estimated 130 million migrant workers nationwide,
employed mainly in the construction, mining and manufacturing
(Shanghai Daily, China Daily April 22,