66,000 workplace deaths in China last year: report


BEIJING — China saw 66,000 workplace deaths in 2015 despite strengthened legislation, Chinese authorities said, highlighting often dangerous labor conditions in the world’s second largest economy.

The world’s workshop also saw 282,000 workplace accidents in 2015, according to a report posted Wednesday on the official website of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of China. Deaths have dropped 50 percent since 2002, with total accidents down from one million in the same year, it said, but insufficient safety precautions in the workplace remain a major problem. In 2015, the country saw 38 accidents involving over 10 deaths or causing more than 50 million yuan (US$7.2 million) of damage, the report said. “There was a rising tendency to put an emphasis on development while overlooking safety,” the report quoted Zhang Ping, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee as saying. Zhang singled out coal mines and steel factories as places where poor safety supervision had resulted in accidents. Insufficient law enforcement and outdated or even conflicting regulations and standards also caused problems in workplaces, he added.