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Industrial accidents decline in first quarter

By Yang Zekun | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-13 07:40

The overall number of accidents nationwide in the first quarter of this year decreased, and the safety situation in most regions and industries was stable, the Ministry of Emergency Management reported on Friday.

From January to March, a total of 3,570 accidents occurred nationwide, resulting in 3,359 deaths, representing respective year-on-year decreases of 36.9 percent and 27.9 percent, it said.

Accidents and fatalities in key sectors including coal mining, the chemical industry, manufacturing and trade, fireworks and firecrackers, construction, road and railway transportation, and aviation all experienced year-on-year decreases in the number of accidents and deaths.

Li Haowen, head of the ministry's investigation and statistics department, said that the overall situation of safety production in the first quarter was stable, yet in some regions and industry sectors, there have been typical accidents, indicating that safety risks still cannot be ignored.

In terms of mine safety, the risks mainly center around gas-related incidents. The chemical safety risks focus primarily on special operations and illegal production activities.

Regarding risks in manufacturing and trade, the current focus appears to be on aluminum processing, dust explosion risks and confined space operations.

Li highlighted the passenger transportation risks and urged passengers to wear seat belts when taking a bus or driving. In one case in Linfen, Shanxi province, in March, a bus crashed into a tunnel, resulting in 14 deaths and 37 injuries. It was found that the driver's improper operation of the vehicle, and the fact that most passengers were not wearing seat belts, were the cause of most fatalities.

The number of accidents in the construction sector ranked second only to road transportation, he said.

Last year, the Work Safety Committee of the State Council deployed a special action for the investigation and rectification of significant hazards. During the period, 51 criteria or key inspection items for determining significant accident hazards in various industry sectors were formulated or revised.

Wang Chongxian, head of the ministry's safety coordination department, said that during the special action, various regions conducted inspections based on these criteria, resulting in the identification of 395,000 significant hazards, a significant increase compared to the previous period, and a notable improvement in inspection quality.

"However, during the nationwide safety production inspections and visits in the first quarter, we found that there are still prominent issues in timely and accurately identifying and rectifying significant accident hazards," he said.

Some company leaders, safety production managers and employees lack sufficient understanding and mastery of the criteria, and some regulatory enforcement departments and personnel did not prioritize the criteria as an important basis for law enforcement inspections, resulting in a failure to identify significant hazards during on-site inspections, he said.

At the beginning this year, the Work Safety Committee of the State Council launched a three-year action plan for fundamental improvements in production safety. So far, 81,000 significant hazards have been identified, and about 554,000 administrative penalties imposed on companies.

In addition, 5,353 regulatory talks and criticism notices — two sorts of administrative law enforcement — were held and issued to the involved governments and departments that failed to perform their duties properly, and 1,239 individuals were held accountable after investigation.


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