China will list work safety as a top factor in evaluating the performance of local governments, taking into account the mortality rate for every 100 million yuan, or about US$12 million, worth of GDP when assessing national economic and social development.
The director of the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS), Li Yizhong, outlined the new approach at a working conference Wednesday in Beijing.
Li said relevant departments will continue to severely punish those responsible for accidents caused by illegal production and prosecute officials for breach and dereliction of duty.
He noted the SAWS will adopt further measures to rein in major industrial accidents in mining and other sectors.
Meanwhile, up to Tuesday the number of coal mine shafts that were already or decided to be closed down within last year reached 5,290, according to sources with the SAWS on Wednesday.
China has suspended production in a total of 12,990 coal mine shafts so that consolidation can be carried out, according to the SAWS.
Coal mine gas checks and monitoring have been undertaken in 2,296 gas-intensive shafts in 20 coal producing provinces throughout the country.
Technological improvement projects valued at 55 billion yuan (US$6.8 billion) have been submitted to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
One day after the working conference, a coalmine accident trapped 12 people in Huainan, a city in east China's Anhui Province, according to local government sources.
The accident took place at 1:40 PM when 12 people were working at Wangfenggang Coalmine, which was under construction.
Preliminary investigation shows the accident was caused by a coal and gas explosion. Rescue work is underway.
(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2006)