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Proposed Law Promotes Work Safety
Administrative authorities at all levels should carry the responsibility of ensuring workplace safety, according to a pending legislation on workplace safety which passed to a second reading by national legislators yesterday.

The people's governments at all levels should enhance leadership, support and supervise production safety and help solve major problems timely, the draft bill reads.

The proposed legislation also urges governments to improve public education to raise people's awareness of safe production.

National lawmakers attending the ongoing 27th session of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC) agreed that the pending legislation is urgently needed as the nation faces a serious situation in workplace-related security.

In the first 10 months of last year, 99,734 people were killed in 860,685 industrial and traffic accidents, according to figures from the State Economic and Trade Commission.

Legislator Bai Qingcai blamed the exceedingly high number of accidents on poor safety awareness and lax safety management in a panel discussion on the draft bill.

The bill is designed to curb the number of accidents, especially fatal ones, improve the management and supervision of workplace safety, guarantee the efficiency of rescues and the timely investigation of workplace accidents as well as protecting the interests and rights of the workers, NPC officials said.

The draft bill requires related departments of the State Council to complete a national workplace safety standard or industrial safety standard. These standards should be updated along with the advancement of science and technology and economic development.

Local governments should report workplace-related accidents honestly and timely and organize timely rescue efforts, the bill reads. Measures on how to prevent similar accidents should be generated after careful investigation of industrial accidents, according to the bill.

Legislator Zeng Xianzi said more emphasis should be placed on the training of workers.

The proposed bill also urges the State Council to draft a specific regulation procedures for handling industrial accidents.

(China Daily April 27, 2002)

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