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New Regulations Issued to Ensure Safe Production

China has promulgated new industrial safety regulations, with all mines, construction firms and producers of hazardous chemicals, fireworks and civilian explosives across the country required to first obtain a "safe production license".

The Regulations on Licenses for Safe Production, adopted by the State Council at its 34th executive meeting on Jan. 7, took effect from Jan. 13.

The new regulations aim at promoting industrial safety in mines and enterprises related to construction, hazardous chemicals, fireworks and civilian explosives. "Those enterprises which fail to meet the requirements for safe production that cannot get a license are not allowed to continue with their production activities," the regulations stipulate.

A "safe production license" has a three-year period of validity and must be renewed three months before it expires.

To obtain licenses, enterprises must standardize their operational procedures to ensure safe production, establish administrative bodies to supervise production, provide necessary education and training on safe production for their employees, furnish workplace, infrastructures and equipment to meet safety demands, and prepare emergency plans and rescue equipment.

According to the regulations, any enterprise that produces without a license or in violation of the regulations will be ordered to halt operation immediately, fined for 50,000 yuan (US$6,045.9) to 100,000 yuan (US$12,091.9), and even subject to criminal penalties if major accidents have occurred.

The Chinese government is making industrial safety a top priority, which has turned out to be a major challenge for the country in recent years.

Each year thousands of lives are claimed by mine accidents across China, while two fireworks plant blasts sounded alarms for the industry once again as the Chinese lunar New Year is drawing near.

Nine were killed and five others injured in an explosion on Jan.1, at a village factory in Liling City, one of the major fireworks production bases in central China's Hunan Province. Another fireworks factory explosion in northeast China's Liaoning Province on Dec. 30, 2003 killed 38 people and injured 33 others.

(Xinhua News Agency January 20, 2004)

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