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China Reports Fewer Work Accidents

China's work safety record improved in the first five months of this year, the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) said Thursday.

Figures released by the SAWS on its website show that the country reported 269,132 work place accidents between January 1 and May 21, resulting in 40,896 deaths. The two figures declined by 9.1 percent and 9.5 percent year on year, respectively.

Coal mining, one of the most dangerous industries, recorded a 13.1 percent decline in the number of accidents and a 29.8 percent drop in fatalities in the same period.

Construction, another highly dangerous industry, saw a nine percent reduction in the number of accident and a 1.2 percent decrease in fatal accident in the first four months.

Liang Jiakun, deputy director of SAWS, attributed the development to improved law enforcement by governments at all levels.

He noted, however, that the situation is still grave, particularly in construction, mining and other dangerous industries which employs millions of workers.

Between April 26 and May 20, the country reported 19 major accidents, that killed 89 people.

He urged authorities to be tougher in enforcing work safety rules, saying that by the end of March, 25,000 construction contractors had not yet applied for their annual safety licenses. Liang said contractors must not be allowed to work if they do not have their safety licenses by June 30.

They should also deal with the root causes of accidents by revising and drafting new work safety rules and improving the training of migrant workers, who form the majority of the work force in construction, mining and other dangerous industries.

(Xinhua News Agency May 26, 2006)

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