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Law of the People's Republic of China on Work Safety

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(Adopted at the 28th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress on June 29, 2002 and promulgated by Order No. 70 of the President of the People's Republic of China on June 29, 2002) 
 
CONTENTS
Chapter I General provisions  
Chapter II Work Safety Assurance in Production and Business Units  
Chapter III Rights and Duties of Employees  
Chapter IV Supervision and Control over Work Safety  
Chapter V Accident Rescue, Investigation and Handling  
Chapter VI Legal Responsibility  
Chapter VII Supplementary Provisions
 
Chapter I General provisions

Article 1 
This Law is enacted for enhancing supervision and control over work safety, preventing accidents due to lack of work safety and keeping accident occurrences at a minimum level, ensuring the safety of people's lives and property and promoting the development of the economy.
 
Article 2  
This Law is applicable to work safety in units that are engaged in production and business activities (hereinafter referred to as production and business units) within the territory of the People's Republic of China. Where there are other provisions in relevant laws and administrative regulations governing fire fighting, road traffic safety, railway traffic safety, water way traffic safety, those provisions shall apply.
 
Article 3  
In ensuring work safety, principle of giving first place to safety and laying stress on prevention shall be upheld.
 
Article 4 
Production and business units shall abide by this Law and other laws and regulations concerning work safety, redouble their efforts to ensure work safety by setting up and improving the responsibility system for work safety and improving the conditions to guarantee work safety.
 
Article 5  
Principal leading members of production and business units are in full charge of work safety of their own units.
 
Article 6  
Employees of production and business units shall have the right to work safety assurance in accordance with law and they shall, concurrently, perform their duty in work safety in accordance with law.
 
Article 7  
Trade unions shall, in accordance with law, make arrangement for employees to participate in the democratic management of, and supervision over, work safety in their units and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the employees in work safety.
 
Article 8  
The State Council and the local people's governments at all levels shall strengthen their leadership over work safety and support and urge all departments concerned to perform their responsibilities in exercising supervision and control over work safety, in accordance with law.

The people's governments at or above the county level shall, in a timely manner, provide coordination and solution to major problems existing in supervision and over work safety.
 
Article 9  
The department in charge of supervision and control over work safety under the State Council shall, in accordance with this Law, exercise all-round supervision and control over work safety throughout the country. The departments in charge of supervision and control over work safety of local people's governments at or above the county level shall, in accordance with this Law, exercise all-round supervision and control over work safety on work safety within their own administrative regions.

The relevant departments under the State Council shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Law and relevant laws and administrative regulations, exercise relevant supervision and control over work safety within the scope of their respective responsibilities. The departments concerned under the local people's governments at or above the county level shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Law and relevant laws and administrative regulations, exercise supervision and control over work safety within the scope of their respective responsibilities.
 
Article 10  
The relevant departments under the State Council shall, in compliance with the requirements for safeguarding work safety and in accordance with law, formulate relevant national standards or industrial specifications without delay and make timely revisions on the basis of technological advancement and economic development.

Production and business units shall implement the national standards or industrial specifications for work safety formulated in accordance with law.
 
Article 11  
People's governments at all levels and the relevant departments under them shall redouble their efforts to publicize laws and regulations regarding work safety and disseminate knowledge about it in different forms in order to enhance the employees' awareness of the importance of work safety.
 
Article 12  
The intermediary organizations established in accordance with law to provide technical services for work safety shall, in compliance with law, administrative regulations and business criteria, accept commissions entrusted by production and business units to provide such services.
 
Article 13  
The State applies the responsibility investigation system for accidents due to lack of work safety. Persons who are responsible for such accidents shall be investigated for their legal responsibilities in accordance with the provisions in this Law and relevant laws and regulations.
 
Article 14  
The State encourages and supports technological research in work safety and the wide application of advanced technology in this area in order to raise the level of work safety.
 
Article 15  
The State gives awards to the units and individuals that achieve outstanding successes in improving conditions for work safety and preventing accidents due to lack of work safety, and in rescue operations.
 
Chapter II Work Safety Assurance in Production and Business Units
 
Article 16  
Production and business units shall have the conditions for work safety as specified by the provisions in this Law and relevant laws, administrative regulations and national standards or industrial specifications. Production and business units that do not have such conditions are not allowed to engage in production and business activities.
 
Article 17  
The principal leading members of production and business units are charged with the following responsibilities for work safety in their own units:  
 
(1) Setting up and improving the responsibility system for work safety in their own units;  
 
(2) Making arrangements for formulating rules and operating regulations for work safety in their own units; 
 
(3) Guaranteeing an effective input into work safety in their own units;  
 
(4) Supervising over and inspecting work safety in their own units and, in a timely manner, eliminating hidden dangers threatening work safety;  
 
(5) Making arrangements for the formulation and implementation of their own units' rescue plans in the event of accidents;   
 
(6) Submitting to higher authorities timely and truthful report on accidents due to lack of work safety.
 
Article 18  
Funds for input essential to meeting the conditions for work safety in production and business units shall be guaranteed by the decision-making bodies and principal leading members of the units or private investors, and these bodies and persons shall bear the responsibility for the consequences of insufficient input of funds essential to work safety in their own units.
 
Article 19  
Mines, construction units and units for manufacturing, marketing or storing dangerous articles shall set up organizations or be manned with full-time persons for the control of work safety.  
 
Production and business units, other than the ones specified in the preceding paragraph, where the number of employees each exceeds 300, shall set up organizations or be manned with full-time persons for the control of work safety. Where the number is below 300, the units each shall be manned with full-time or part-time persons for the purpose, or, they may entrust engineers or technicians, who are professionally qualified according to State regulations in this field, with the provisions of services for the control of work safety. 
 
Where, in accordance with the provisions in the preceding paragraph, production and business units entrust engineers or technicians with the provision of services for the control of work safety, the responsibility for guaranteeing work safety shall still rest on the production and business units.
 
Article 20  
The principal leading members and persons for the control of work safety in production and business units shall have the knowledge about work safety and the competence for its control, which are commensurate with the production and business activities of these units.  
 
Principal leading members and persons for the control of work safety in units that manufacture, market or store dangerous articles, in mines and in construction units shall only be appointed to the posts after they pass the examinations in their knowledge about work safety and their competence in its control conducted by the competent departments. No fees shall be charged for taking such examinations.
 
Article 21  
Production and business units shall give their employees education and training in work safety to ensure that the employees acquire the necessary knowledge about work safety and are familiar with the relevant rules for work safety and safe operating regulations. No employees who fail to pass the qualification tests after receiving education and training in work safety may be assigned to posts.
 
Article 22  
Before using new techniques, technologies, materials or equipment, production and business units shall get to know and master their technical properties for safety and adopt effective protective measures for safety, and they shall provide their employees with special education and training in work safety.
 
Article 23  
Workers operating at special posts in production and business units shall, in accordance with relevant State regulations, receive special training in safe operation, and they shall only be assigned to such posts after obtaining qualification certificate for operation at special posts. 
 
The category of workers operating at special posts shall be determined by the department in charge of supervision and control over work safety under the State Council in conjunction with the relevant departments under the State Council.
 
Article 24  
Production and business units shall see to it that safety facilities for their projects to be built, renovated or expanded (hereinafter all are referred to as construction projects) are designed, constructed, and put into operation and use simultaneously with the principal parts of the projects. Investments into safety facilities shall be included in the budgetary estimates of the construction projects.
 
Article 25  
Construction projects for mines and construction projects for the manufacture and storage of dangerous articles shall respectively undergo assessment of the safety conditions and safety assessment according to the relevant regulations of the State.
 
Article 26  
The designers and designing units for safety facilities of construction projects shall be responsible for the design of the safety facilities.  
 
The designs of the safety facilities of construction projects for mines and construction projects for the manufacture or storage of dangerous articles shall, according to relevant State regulations, be submitted to relevant departments for examination. The examination departments and the persons in charge of the examination shall be responsible for the results of the examination.
 
Article 27  
Construction units for projects of mines and projects for the manufacture or storage of dangerous articles shall construct the safety facilities according to the approved design of the facilities and shall be responsible for the engineering quality of the facilities.  
 
Before the completed construction projects for mines and for the manufacture and storage of dangerous articles are put into operation or use, the safety facilities shall, in accordance with the provisions in relevant laws and administrative regulations, undergo check for acceptance; said projects shall only be put into operation or use after the facilities are checked and accepted. The departments for check and acceptance and the persons doing the check and acceptance shall be responsible for the results of the check and acceptance.
 
Article 28  
Production and business units shall set up or affix conspicuous safety precaution signs at production and business places, facilities and equipment where factors of relatively grave danger exist.
 
Article 29  
Safety equipment shall be designed, manufactured, installed, used, tested, maintained, renovated and abandoned in compliance with the national standards or industrial specifications.  
 
Production and business units shall have their safety equipment constantly maintained and serviced and regularly tested in order to ensure its normal operation. Records for maintenance, service and test shall be kept and be signed by the persons concerned.
 
Article 30  
Special equipment that threatens the safety of people's lives and is potentially more dangerous, as well as containers and transport vehicles for dangerous articles, to be used by production and business units shall be made by professional manufacturers in accordance with relevant State regulations, and they shall only be put to use after they pass the test and check by professionally qualified testing and checking authorities and safe use certificates or safety tags are issued. The said authorities shall be responsible for the results of the test and check. 
 
A catalogue of special equipment that threatens the safety of people's lives and is potentially more dangerous shall be worked out by the department under the State Council in charge of supervision and control over the safety of special equipment, and shall be submitted to the State Council for approval before it becomes effective.
 
Article 31  
The State applies an elimination system for the technique and equipment that present serious threat to work safety.  
 
No production and business units may use techniques and equipment threatening work safety which is eliminated and the use of which is prohibited by State decrees.
 
Article 32  
Where dangerous articles are to be manufactured, marketed, transported, stored, used or to be disposed of or abandoned, the matter shall be submitted to the department in charge for approval in accordance with the provisions in relevant laws and regulations as well as the national standards or industrial specifications and shall be subject to its supervision and control.  
 
To manufacture, market, transport, store, use or dispose of or abandon dangerous articles, production and business units shall abide by relevant laws and regulations, as well as the national standards or industrial specifications, establish a special system for safety control, adopt reliable safety measures, and subject themselves to supervision and control by the competent departments in accordance with law.
 
Article 33  
Production and business units shall have the sources of grievous danger recorded and have the records kept on file, conduct regular monitoring, assessment and control, make exigency plans, and notify the employees and related persons the emergency measures to be taken in emergency.  
 
Production and business units shall, in accordance with relevant State regulations, report the sources of grievous danger, related safety and emergency measures to the departments in charge of supervision and control over work safety under the local people's governments and other departments concerned for the record.
 
Article 34  
No workshops, stores or warehouses where dangerous articles are manufactured, marketed, stored or used may share the same building with the employees' living quarters; a distance shall be kept between the two for the sake of safety.  
 
At manufacturing and marketing places and in the living quarters of employees, there shall be exits that meet the requirements for emergency evacuation and are indicated clearly and kept unobstructed. The said exits may not be sealed or blocked.
 
Article 35  
When carrying out dangerous operations such as blasting and hoisting, production and business units shall send special persons to the sites to ensure safety and to see that operation rules are abided by and safety measures are adopted.
 
Article 36
Production and business units shall inculcate their employees with the need to strictly abide by rules and regulations for work safety and safety operating regulations formulated by the units, and urge them to do so, and they shall truthfully inform the employees of the factors of danger existing at the work places and work posts as well as the precautions and the exigency measures to be taken in the event of accidents.
 
Article 37  
Production and business units shall provide their employees with work protection gears that are up to national standards or industrial specifications, and they shall give instruction to their employees and see to it that they wear or use these gears in accordance with the rules for their use.
 
Article 38  
Persons of production and business units in charge of work safety control shall, in light of the production and business operation characteristics of the units, carry out routine inspection on work safety. They shall immediately deal with the problems they discover in the course of inspection. Where they cannot do so, they shall report the matter to the leading members of the units in charge. The inspection and the handling of the problems shall be recorded.
 
Article 39  
Production and business units shall arrange funds for the provision of work protection gears and for training in work safety.
 
Article 40  
Where two or more production and business units are conducting production and business activities in the same work zone, which presents potential dangers to each other's work safety, they shall sign on agreement on work safety control, in which the responsibilities of each party for work safety control shall be defined and the safety measures to be taken by each party shall be made clear. In addition, each party shall assign full-time persons for control over work safety to conduct safety inspection and coordination.
 
Article 41  
No production or business units may contract out or lease production or business projects, work places or equipment to any units or individuals that do not possess the conditions for work safety or the necessary qualifications.  
 
Where there is more than one contractor or leasee involved in one production or business project or place, the production or business unit shall sign a special agreement on work safety control with each of the contractors or leasees or have the responsibilities of each party for work safety control specified in the contract. The production or business unit shall conduct overall coordination and management among the contractors or leasees in respect of work safety.
 
Article 42  
When a major accident due to neglect of work safety occurs in a production or business unit, the principal leading member of the unit shall immediately make arrangements for rescue operation; and, during the period of investigation and handling of the accident, he may not leave his post without permission.
 
Article 43  
Production and business units shall, in accordance with law, purchase social insurance for industrial injuries and pay insurance premiums for their employees.
 
Chapter III Rights and Duties of Employees
 
Article 44  
In the labor contracts signed between production and business units and their employees shall be clearly indicated the items concerning guarantees for occupational safety of the employees, prevention of occupational hazards, as well as the item concerning payment, according to law, of insurance premiums for industrial injuries suffered by employees.  
 
No production or business units may, in any form, conclude agreements with their employees in an attempt to relieve themselves of, or lighten, the responsibilities they should bear in accordance with law for the employees who are injured or killed in accidents which occur due to lack of work safety.  
 
Article 45 
Employees of production and business units shall have the right to the knowledge the dangerous factors existing at their work places and posts, and the precaution and exigency measures, and they shall have the right to put forward suggestions on work safety of the units where they work.
 
Article 46  
Employees shall have the right to criticize, inform against and accuse their work units for the problems existing in work safety. They shall have the right to refuse to comply with the directions that are contrary to rules and regulations or arbitrary orders for risky operations.  
 
No production and business units may reduce the wages or welfare standards of, or cancel the labor contracts concluded with, the employees because the latter criticize, inform against, accuse or refuse to comply with the directions that are contrary to rules and regulations or arbitrary orders for risky operations.
 
Article 47  
On spotting emergency situations that directly threaten their personal safety, the employees shall have the right to suspend operation or evacuate from the work place after taking possible emergency measures.  
 
No production and business units may reduce the wages or welfare standards, or  cancel the labor contracts concluded with, the employees because the latter, under the emergency situations, mentioned in the preceding paragraph, suspend operation and evacuate from the work place as an emergency measure.
 
Article 48  
Employees who are harmed in accidents due to lack of work safety who still have the right to compensation according to relevant civil laws shall, in addition to enjoying the social insurance for industrial injuries in accordance with law, have the right to demand compensations from the units where they work.
 
Article 49  
In the course of operation, employees shall strictly abide by work safety rules and regulations and operation instructions of the units where they work, subject themselves to supervision, wear and use the gears for occupational protection in a correct way.
 
Article 50  
Employees shall receive education and training in work safety to master work safety knowledge needed for the jobs they are doing, improve their skills related to work safety and increase their ability to prevent accidents and handle emergencies.
 
Article 51  
On discovering hidden dangers that may lead to accidents or other factors that may jeopardize safety, employees shall immediately report the matter to the persons in charge of work safety on the spot or leading members of their units. Persons who receive such report shall act to handle the matter without delay.
 
Article 52  
Trade unions shall have the right to exercise supervision over and put forward comments and suggestions on the simultaneous design, construction and commissioning of the safety facilities and the main structure of a construction project.  
 
Trade unions shall have the right to demand that production and business units set to right their violations of laws and regulations on work safety and their infringement of the lawful rights and interests of the employees. When discovering that production and business units issue directions contrary to rules and regulations, or arbitrary orders for risky operations, or hidden dangers that may lead to accidents, they shall have the right to put forward suggestions for solution, and the production and business units shall consider the suggestions and respond in a timely manner. When discovering situations in which the safety of the employees' lives are threatened, they shall have the right to put forward suggestions to the production and business units for organized evacuation of the employees from the endangered work place, and the production and business units shall deal with such situations immediately.  
 
Trade unions shall have the right to take part in investigations of accidents in accordance with law; put forward their suggestions to the departments concerned for the handling of the accidents and demand that the persons concerned be investigated for their responsibilities.
 
Chapter IV Supervision and Control over Work Safety
 
Article 53  
Local people's governments at or above the county level shall, in light of the conditions of work safety in their administrative regions, make arrangements for the departments concerned, in keeping with the division of responsibilities, to carry out strict inspections in the production and business units located in their administrative regions in which major accidents due to lack of work safety are liable to occur. Upon discovering hidden dangers that may lead to accidents, all departments shall deal with the matter without delay.
 
Article 54  
Where the departments charged with the responsibilities to exercise supervision and control over work safety (hereinafter all referred to as departments in charge of supervision and control over work safety), as specified in the provisions of Article 9 of this Law, need to examine before giving approval (including approval, ratification, permission, registration, authentication and issue of certificates or licenses, the same as below) or check for acceptance matters related to work safety in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, they shall conduct the examination or check strictly in accordance with relevant laws and regulations and national standards or industrial specifications. They may not give approval or authorize acceptance to matters which do not meet the work safety conditions specified in relevant laws and regulations and national standards or industrial specifications. With regard to units that engage in relevant activities without obtaining approval or without being qualified for acceptance in accordance with law, the departments in charge of administrative examination and approval, on discovering or receiving reports on such cases, shall immediately outlaw them and dealt with them in accordance with law. Where departments in charge of administrative examination and approval find that units which have obtained approval in accordance with law no longer possess the conditions for work safety, they shall cancel the given approval.
 
Article 55  
No departments in charge of supervision and control over work safety may charge any fees for examining, checking and accepting matters related to work safety, or require that units subject to their examination, check and acceptance purchase the brands of products designated by them or the work safety equipment, devices or other products manufactured or marketed by units designated by them.
 
Article 56  
When departments in charge of supervision and control over work safety conduct, in accordance with law, supervision over and inspection of production and business units to see how the latter implement the laws and regulations related to work safety, national standards or industrial specifications, they shall exercise the following functions and powers:  
 
(1) Entering production and business units for inspection, acquiring relevant materials and data for investigation, and getting information from the departments and persons concerned;  
 
(2) Putting into rights on the spot or demanding rectification of, within a time limit, violations of law related to work safety, which are discovered in the course of inspection; and with regard to practices deserving administrative penalties according to law, making decisions to impose such penalties in accordance with the provisions in this Law, other laws and administrative regulations; 
 
(3) When, in the course of inspection, hidden dangers that may lead to accidents, to eliminate them immediately; when it is impossible to ensure safety before major ones are eliminated or, in the course of their elimination; giving orders to evacuate workers from the danger areas and to suspend production, business operation or application, and when major dangers are eliminated, allowing resumption of production, business operation or application upon examination and approval; 
 
(4) Sealing up or seizing facilities, equipment and devices that are deemed, on firm grounds, not up to the national standards or industrial specifications to ensure work safety, and, in accordance with law, making a decision within fifteen days to deal with the case.

No supervision or inspection may hinder the normal production and business activities of the units undergoing inspection.
 
Article 57  
Production and business units shall cooperate with the supervision and inspectors of the departments in charge of supervision and control over work safety (hereinafter referred to as work safety supervisors and inspectors) who are performing their duties in accordance with law