China mulls revision of workplace safety law

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-2-25 22:27:40

China's top legislature on Tuesday reviewed a bill on revising the workplace safety law, in an attempt to close possible loopholes.

The bill was tabled at the bi-monthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), which is being held here from Tuesday to Thursday.

Although the law, which took effect in 2002, has helped reduce the number of malpractices over the past 12 years, many problems need to be addressed, Yang Dongliang, director of the State Administration of Work Safety, told lawmakers.

The country has a high incidence of workplace accidents and fails to prevent accidents that result in serious casualty, Yang said.

"It is important to amend the law, based on new situations, to effectively prevent and reduce workplace accidents," Yang said.

The draft includes articles to ensure employers are aware of their responsibilities, improve supervision and tighten up punishment against offenders, he said.

The bill has increased fines on a number of malpractices, Yang said.

For instance, for an employer who fails to provide workplace safety training for his employees and interns and does not correct his or her wrongdoing after being required to do so, the bill raises the fine from a maximum 20,000 yuan (3,225 US dollars) to between 50,000 and 100,000 yuan.

For a mining company that does not include work safety control measures in its construction plan and fails to correct its wrongdoing on time, the bill raises the fine from a maximum 50,000 yuan to between 500,000 and 1 million yuan. A fine of between 20,000 and 50,000 yuan will be imposed on individuals directly responsible for the offence.

"To deter big companies that do not care about large fines, the bill asks the work safety regulator to set up a blacklist," Yang said, adding that information on serious offenders could be published and shared with regulators of investment, land use and securities as well as banks.

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