China's consistently poor industrial and workplace safety record
has led to the establishment of a national control center for
coordinating work safety and rescue operations throughout the
country yesterday in Beijing.
With five departments and 80 employees, the center will operate
directly under the leadership of the Work Safety Committee of the
One of the center's major tasks is to formulate contingency
plans, emergency procedures and rescue operations, according to Li
Yizhong, head of the General Administration of Work Safety
He added that staff at the center are to supervise rescue and
evacuation drills at enterprises and local authorities.
Enterprise senior management and heads of local governments are
also required to undergo the relevant training to familiarize
themselves with their duties during rescue operations.
The center is also encouraged to make available to the public
information on how to handle an emergency situation.
The center will also issue a set of coordinating rules for the
management of information, personnel, experts and fund guarantee
for contingency rescue operations through legislation, Li said.
Experts from scientific research institutions, colleges, and
associations from different sectors will also be recruited to help
with research into preventing gas and chemical leaks.
According to GAWS statistics, last year there were 803,571
reports of accidents that killed 136,755 people.
In the coal mining industry alone, China reported 3,639 fatal
incidents last year, with a death toll of 6,027, making it the
second most dangerous industrial sector.
(China Daily February 22, 2006)