China emphasizes on whistleblowing to ensure mining safety

By Zhu Bochen
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, December 15, 2020
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A rescuer is seen at the coal mine after a coal and gas outburst happened in Anlong County, southwest China's Guizhou Province, Dec. 17, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's top emergency regulator has called for supporting whistleblowers inside mining enterprises to help report hidden threats and improve production safety in non-coal mines. 

"We need to give full play to the role of whistleblowers inside companies and help guide the whole society to participate in safety governance and supervision," said the Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) in a document published on Dec. 1.

The document urged local government agencies and relevant central state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to spare no efforts to ensure safety in non-coal mines at the end of the year.

Due to seasonal factors, risks of accidents increase at this time of the year, said the document. Threats include poisoning and suffocation, fires, cave collapses and slope failure in open-pit mines.

In addition, MEM introduced a regulation in mid-September on handling employees' reporting activities for safe production. The regulation aimed to ensure that production and operation entities fulfil their primary responsibilities, and further encourage and support employees' reporting and supervising activities concerning any potential danger existing inside their own companies.

The regulation also demanded emergency regulators and companies strictly protect the legal rights of those playing a part in the production safety supervision process.

"The name, identity, contact information, details of the report, and rewards shall not be disclosed in any forms without the whistleblower or informer's consent," said the regulation.

Other measures put forward in the regulation include law-based crackdown of retaliation, and return-visit by emergency regulators to whistleblowers and informers.

The regulation also said that whistleblowers and informers must be held accountable for the authenticity of the information they report. Fabrication and distortion of information, as well as ill-intended false accusation of companies will be punished in accordance with law. 

Earlier on, the State Council called for awarding and protecting those reporting on major violations and threats in a document published last September.

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