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Workplace Safety Stressed As Winter is Coming
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State Councilor Hua Jianmin on Friday urged local authorities to watch out for coal mine and other workplace-related accidents as the country is entering winter time.

The winter time, with rising demand for coal for heating in northern parts of the country, usually sees a high rate of accidents. The number of deaths in the fourth quarter of 2005 accounted for one third of that last year, statistics show.

To ensure coal mine safety, heads of coal mines and local authorities must be held accountable when accidents occur, said Hua at a teleconference on coal mine and work safety here on Friday..

He said the country's goal for this year on closing small, unsafe coal mines must be met in the remaining months.

Chinese coal mines suffer frequent accidents, claiming about 6,000 lives a year. Since the beginning of this month, eight major accidents have taken place in China, with 55 dead or missing.

(Xinhua News Agency October 21, 2006)

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