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China Unveils Hefty Fines for Work Accident Cover-Ups

On Tuesday the State Administration of Work Safety Bureau unveiled regulations stipulating the reporting and investigation of work safety accidents. Agencies and companies could be fined up to five million Yuan (US$660,900) if they covered up work accidents.

Under these regulations, agencies and firms would also incur hefty fines if their staff deliberately disrupted accident sites, transferred and/or hid evidence.

They would also incur fines if staff members refused to assist in investigations, gave false testimony and/or asked others to do so, or left the scene of an accident.

The regulations also stated that smaller fines, ranging from one million to two million Yuan, would be administered if their evasive actions did not hinder rescue efforts.

The regulations also asserted that firm and agency heads would receive fines equal to 80 percent of their annual incomes for failure to organize timely rescue operations. Agency and firm chiefs would also incur penalties of 40 to 60 percent of their annual income if they covered up accidents or delayed accident reports.

In addition they would receive penalties equaling 60 to 80 percent of their annual incomes for evading investigations.

(Xinhua News Agency July 18, 2007)

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