China: workplace safety law strengthened yet again

China’s government has amended its Workplace Safety Law for the third time and the text came into force on 01 September. Originally passed in 2002, the law was amended for the first time in 2009 and then again in 2014. Announced in January 2021, only one month after the terrible accident in the Diaoshuidong coal mine, south of Chongqing, which claimed the lives of 23 miners, this new series of amendments, which were steered for the first time by the Ministry of Emergency Management, was presented as ‘a necessity’ and is intended to be both more inclusive for all Chinese workers and more harsh on its violators.

Through . Published on 08 September 2021 à 16h21 - Update on 08 September 2021 à 16h21

While the latest version of the Workplace Safety Law augments penalties levied on violators, it also gives greater scope to employees and increases the rights and responsibilities of company unions, and comes against a backdrop where generally speaking, “very serious” (10-30 deaths and/or 50-100 serious injuries) and “extremely serious” (more than 30 deaths and/or more than 100 serious injuries) workplace accidents in China have been steadily declining for the past two decades. Just as in 2014,…

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