Independent Safety Staff Earmarked for Coal Mines

Independent safety officers are to be introduced to China's coal mines, and anyone who fails to report or interferes with the investigation of mining accidents may face criminal charges, the State Council has stipulated in new regulations.

In a bid to increase the safety of China's coal mines, Premier Zhu Rongji signed the regulations on November 7 stating that, from December 1, individuals who fail to give timely reports of coal mine accidents, tamper with the scene to play down the scale of an accident, or interfere in or reject an investigation of an accident will be dealt with according to law, and may even face criminal charges.

The regulations state that the new officers should report to the national or regional coal mine safety administration twice a month.

Safety officers have the right to order the coal mine to eliminate hidden perils, even to immediately close down the coal mine if an accident seems imminent.

Safety officers are also responsible for inspecting mining equipment, instruments and labour insurance documents to ensure they meet state standards.

The regulations, comprising five chapters and 50 articles, were introduced in line with relevant provisions of the Coal Law and the Mineral Resources Law.

(Xinhua 11/14/2000)

In This Series

Explosion in Coal Mine Leaves 31 Trapped

At Least 32 Killed in Guizhou Mine Explosion



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