Every person, from government ministers down to miners, has a
stake in ensuring workplace safety, Li Yizhong, chief of the
national work safety watchdog, said yesterday.
"Our goal is to halt the frequent occurrence of major accidents
in coal mines and other industries," Li said. "I, as head of State
Administration of Work Safety, must carry out my own
'accountability system' before anyone else."
The administration, promoted to a ministerial-level organ early
last year, will perform its duty of enforcing the law and
supervising work safety to a good standard, Li said.
"The first thing is to implement an accountability system, in
which leading government officials and enterprise owners are held
responsible (for production safety)," he said.
Li made the remarks to reporters at the Great Hall of the People
before attending the annual meeting of the National People's
Congress, which opened yesterday.
Beset with a staggering death toll of industrial and road
accidents, which reportedly killed 136,755 people last year, China
has been striving to find ways to reverse the situation.
Work safety is a topic that is expected to arouse spirited
debate among the national legislators and policy-makers who meet
this week in Beijing.
In the country's latest coal mine accident, six people were
killed and 25 others trapped in a colliery blast in Cixian County
of north China's Hebei Province last Thursday, according to a
Xinhua News Agency report.
Li said that in addition to the responsibility system, all
localities should carry out the new quota system for work safety
control released by the State Council earlier this year.
The control quota will be used to judge the performance of
government officials and related enterprise managers, according to
the agency's sources.
The system requires efforts to bring the overall death toll in
various kinds of accidents in China down by 3 percent this
In particular, the human death toll for each 1 million tons of
coal produced should be capped to within 2.624 in 2006, a drop of
7.2 percent from the previous year, according to sources at the
work safety watchdog.
In his government work report delivered to national legislators
yesterday, Premier Wen
Jiabao promised that the central government will again allocate
3 billion yuan (US$370 million) this year to support projects
controlling and utilizing coalmine gases, which are blamed for most
The premier also said enterprises must improve technical and
quality standards for production safety, and train employees in
work safety techniques.
"We will conduct in-depth investigations into cases of
dereliction of duty and corruption related to production safety,
and severely punish those responsible," he said.
(China Daily March 6, 2006)