China's authorities have unveiled guidelines to boost workplace safety at mines, state media Xinhua News Agency reported.
The guidelines will tighten grips on market access within the mining sector. Stringent criteria and standards will be implemented to ensure that only safe and compliant mining operations are allowed.
To address safety concerns, the guidelines advocate for the transformation of existing mines. This includes stopping the construction of new coal mines with annual production capacity below 900,000 tonnes, risks of coal and gas outbursts, and complex hydrogeological conditions. Furthermore, mines failing to meet these safety standards will face closure.
Emphasizing technological advancements, the guidelines endorse the mechanization, automation, and intelligent upgrading of mining processes. These modernizations will not only enhance efficiency but also reduce the potential for accidents.
Another facet of these guidelines is the refinement of safety management systems. This involves comprehensive safety hazard assessments and regular screenings to identify and mitigate potential risks effectively.
The guidelines assert the importance of local authorities in ensuring mining safety. Efforts will be made to ensure that these authorities fulfill their supervisory responsibilities effectively, thereby minimizing risks at the local level.
To align with contemporary safety requirements, the guidelines recommend the revision of the country's mine safety laws. This will enable more robust legal frameworks to govern mining operations.
Strengthening investigations into mining accidents is another imperative aspect of these guidelines. This initiative aims to identify the root causes of accidents and enforce stricter safety measures.
The move came in response to recent coal mining accidents and at a time when the overall coal supply is loosened, suggesting the government is stepping up efforts in coal mining safety while maintaining steady production.
On August 21, a gas explosion claimed the loss of 11 lives at a coal mine in northern western China's Shaanxi province, another major accident this year following another one that killed 53 people on February 22 in Inner Mongolia.