The work safety situation in China remains grim despite a decline in the death toll over the first eight months of 2007, Li Yizhong, chief of the State Administration of Work Safety, said on Monday.
A total 61,919 people were killed in various work accidents nationwide during the January to August period, 13.9 percent lower than last year, according to the administration.
"Some local authorities and companies have failed to take sufficient actions to tackle safety loopholes and build a sound early warning mechanism," Li told a conference on work safety held in Beijing.
"Each of us should fully realize that the arduous and complicated work safety issue can't be addressed in a short period of time," he said.
Li also called for more efforts to prevent the occurrence of accidents triggered by natural disasters and urged mines that run risks of being inundated by floods to stop production when typhoons and torrential rains arrive.
In a latest major mine accident, 181 miners are still trapped underground two and a half weeks after the flood water inundated the Huayuan and Minggong mines in Xintai, East China's Shandong Province.
He also ordered the local authorities to launch sweeping safety checkups. Chinese firms had fixed 89.2 percent of the 2.258 million safety loopholes they themselves discovered by the end of August this year, according to Li.