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Wen Outlines Work Safety Improvement Measures
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Premier Wen Jiabao has outlined a series of measures to improve work safety, including more investment in work safety facilities, to curb the rising trend of fatal workplace accidents.

Addressing a national teleconference on work safety which ended on Tuesday, Wen said that work safety is a key responsibility for government at all levels.

Economic development should never be achieved at the expense of lives, Wen said.

Fatal accidents in the coalmining sector and other industries in recent months show that the work safety situation in China is still serious, Wen said.

Work safety will be a key criterion for measuring the job performance of leading government officials, he said, adding that a work safety evaluation mechanism will be set up.

He said economic policies will be adopted including the compulsory allocation of money for work safety, and economic compensation for the loss of life or injury.

On work safety in the coalmining sector, he said China will step up its reorganization, encouraging large firms to merge with smaller ones.

The central government will increase funding for technological measures to improve work safety in state-owned coalmines, he added.

Wen said China will try to install work safety facilities in all state-owned coalmines within two years.

He said the country will complete the overhaul of smaller mines where the incidence of work safety accidents are potentially higher.

Wen stressed that rules on work safety should be followed to the letter and a compulsory work safety training mechanism will be introduced so that each employee receives the training required by law.

He also called for tougher measures to punish those responsible for accidents and for failing to enforce work safety laws.

Wen urged local government leaders to spend the time overseeing the upgrade of small coalmines during the upcoming Chinese lunar New Year holidays, which begins on January 29.

(Xinhua News Agency January 25, 2006)

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