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Gov't Tightens Work Safety Supervision

China will tighten control over work safety by changing supervision measures, and reduce deaths from accidents in 2004 by 2.5 percent, sources with the work safety committee under the State Council said in Beijing Tuesday.

The new standards for work safety will help to confirm the responsibility of governments at all levels, said Wang Xianzheng, director of the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) at a national meeting on work safety.

The quota of reduction in deaths from accidents should be distributed to government departments and related enterprises according to a responsibility system, Wang said.

His administration will release details of the work safety situation every three months by means of press conferences, governmental publications and news briefings. Administrations at all levels should adopt tighter measures to make departments and enterprises responsible for serious work safety situations, and those held responsible for calamities should be brought to justice in accordance with the law, said Wang.

Wang also said that the work safety supervision focus should be transferred from by man to by law, from occasional checks to standardized management, and from punishment after accidents to prevention.

In addition, necessary campaigns should be launched to publicize work safety knowledge among the public and to further improve workplace safety, according to Wang.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao presided over an executive meeting of the State Council Monday to deploy work on work safety, as fire and traffic accidents have occurred in various parts of the country recently, bringing severe losses of life and property.

A fire in a shopping center in northeastern China Sunday killed53 people and injured at least 70. Later on the same day, a blaze in southeast China claimed 40 lives. Less than two weeks ago, 37 people were killed in a stampede during a festival in Beijing to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday.

(Xinhua News Agency February 18, 2004)

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