The safety watchdog publicized temporary provisions on
uncovering hidden dangers in the workplace on Thursday, another
effort to improve the country's work safety conditions.
The provisions promulgated by the State Administration of Work
Safety, which would take effect on February 1, 2008, stipulated
that any person or unit could report directly to the safety
watchdog on spotting potential dangers in the workplace in a timely
The provisions also ordered enterprises and mines to file
quarterly and annual work safety reports to the administration.
Those who do not provide these reports on time or try to cover up
accidents would be named and pay a fine equal or less than 30,000
yuan (4,120 U.S. dollars).
Those enterprises and mines that can not meet the work safety
requirements would be closed down, according to the provisions.
Official statistics showed that 5.07 million potential dangers
in the manufacturing, mining, business and transportation sectors
had been uncovered during check-ups by the end of 2007, 94.4
percent of which had been put into good order.
As the world's largest coal producer, the country had been
striving to improve work safety in its accident-prone coal mines.
But accidents were still frequent as enforcement was lax and mine
owners pushed production beyond safety limits to earn higher
In 2006, China produced 2.4 billion tons of coal. Accidents in
small mines with an annual capacity below 300,000 tons each,
however, claimed 3,431 lives.
A gas blast on December 29, 2007 at the Shunfa coal mine in
northeast China's Heilongjiang Province killed 19 miners. The
administration called on mines and enterprises to draw on lessons
from the accident.
Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, abundant in coal
resources, closed 273 small coal mines last year and plans to close
another 100 small ones this year, according to the provincial
According to an earlier report of the State Administration of
Work Safety, China has closed 10,412 coal mines in the last three
years amid efforts to improve workplace safety and to limit use of
The administration said it would step up work safety checks and
law enforcement especially before and during the coming Spring
Festival in February.
(Xinhua News Agency January 11, 2008)