The Chinese government’s efforts to crackdown on unsafe workplaces appears to be having an effect, with the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) reporting a 24.7 percent decrease in occupational accidents over the past year.
There were 47 major workplace accidents in January 2017, resulting in 189 deaths -- down 16.1 percent and 15.2 percent from January 2016. In China, an accident killing more than 10 people, injuring over 50 or resulting in more than 50 million yuan (about 7.2 million U.S. dollars) in direct economic losses is classed as major.
The 2,174 workplace safety accidents that occurred over the past year involved 1,425 deaths -- a 18.2 percent decrease.
Meanwhile, only one major accident occurred during the Spring Festival period from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2, resulting in the death of five people, the lowest death record in ten years during Spring Festival, according to SAWS.
Most of the accidents happened in building construction sites, coal mines and chemical factories.
China’s high workplace accident rate has been blamed largely on a lack of safety awareness, poor regulation and lax implementation of safety measures coupled with a rapid economic expansion that puts pressure on builders to complete projects quickly.