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Workplace Injury Insurance Inspection Starts

In an effort to expand the coverage of insurance for workplace injuries, the Shenzhen municipal government will carry out a two-month-long inspection of construction companies, officials of the labor and social security bureau in Shenzhen told a press conference Thursday.

The inspection, starting June 20, is the city's first inspection related to workplace injury insurance. Companies which have not purchased injury insurance for their workers will be fined up to 20,000 yuan (US$2,500), officials said.

Construction workers are vulnerable to workplace injuries, but only half of the more than 400,000 workers in the industry are insured against work-related injury, said officials.

"It's easy for construction companies to escape work injury insurance, because most construction workers are migrants and work short terms," said Du Bin, vice director of the social insurance fund management center. Du said few subcontractors buy workplace injury insurance, which amounts to 1 percent of the workers' salary.

Some employers hide the number of workers or the total salaries paid to workers to save on insurance premium, said Du, adding that such companies would be fined up to three times the total amount of hidden salaries.

(Shenzhen Daily June 16, 2006)

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