Officials must inspect mine shafts 15 times per month

Updated: 2007-05-09 22:26

Senior officials of China's small coal mines have been ordered to inspect mine shafts at least 15 times a month, according to new safety measures released by the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS).

Legal representatives of small coal mines are required to enter their mine shafts at least ten times a month.

Small coal mines, which are defined as mines producing less than 300,000 tons of coal a year, account for 90 percent of the country's total and more than two-thirds of total fatalities from coal mine accidents.

In 2005, the death rate in China's coal mines was 2.81 for every million tons of coal mined, 70 times worse than the rate in the United States and seven times higher than that in Russia and India.

SAWS's figures show that coal mine accidents killed 4,746 people in China in 2006.

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