The government will increase efforts to cover at least 10
million migrant workers with industrial injury insurance next
Chen Gang, head of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security's
Workplace Injury Insurance Division, said work would focus on
extending cover in major cities where migrant workers are
concentrated, especially to those working in high-risk sectors such
as mining, the chemical industry and construction.
Chen told a national symposium on workplace injury cover in
Tianjin that greater efforts were needed to encourage migrant
workers in the service sector to buy insurance. At the moment, over
22 million migrant workers enjoy coverage.
But this is in the face of China's economic boom having driven
an unprecedented army of about200 million people from farms towards
factories, construction sites and mines.
A survey by the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) in
nine provinces showed that migrant workers accounted for 80 percent
of China's 30 million construction workers. They also made up 56
percent of workers in the mining and dangerous chemical sectors as
well as fireworks factories.
The survey also showed almost all the workers at small and
state-owned collieries were migrant workers.
Poor safety facilities, slack safety rules and the lack of
proper training made migrant workers the most vulnerable group in
terms of work safety.
The government has long pushed for wider insurance coverage in
industries such as coal mining and construction.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Security in May launched a
nationwide, three-year program, known as "Safety Action", with the
purpose of bringing all migrant workers in highly risk sectors
under the protection of the workplace injury insurance system.
Hu Xiaoyi, Vice Minister of Labor and Social Security, said the
government aimed to have 140 million people covered by 2010.
(Xinhua News Agency November 22, 2006)