International news

Canada: new Health and Safety Report

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has just sent out its latest Health and Safety Report. The e-publication has a number of interesting items:

  •  Clearing the Air on Respiratory Hazards
  • Inspect to Correct: Effective Workplace Inspections
  •  Podcasts: A Closer Look at Nonvisible Disabilities
  • Build a Harassment and Violence Prevention Program 
  • Infographic: Workplace Inspections

As well as providing great advice, each of the sections has links to more CCOHS resources, which HSRs and workplaces should find very useful.
Read more: Health and Safety Report, Volume 17, Issue 11

China: Coal mine explosion leaves 15 dead

A gas explosion at a coal mine in the northern Chinese province of Shanxi on the afternoon of 18 November killed 15 miners and injured another nine, according to China’s official media. There were 35 miners working underground at the mine at the time of the explosion and all have been accounted for. The cause of the explosion is now under investigation.

It was the twelfth coal mine incident to be recorded on China Labour Bulletin’s (CLB) "Work Accident Map" this year in Shanxi, China’s traditional coal heartland. This compares to sevenincidents in the province last year, four in 2017 and four in 2016. CLB commented: “Mine safety in Shanxi improved considerably after the government closed down hundreds of small mines and restructured the industry in the late 2000s. However, it appears that safety standards may be slipping again. In the first five months of this year, the provincial authorities ordered 82 coal mines to close or halt production after uncovering 32,612 safety violations during 2,167 inspections from January to May.”

CLB said in China as a whole, coal mine incidents and deaths continue to fall. There were 117 coal mine deaths in the first half of the year, compared with 333 during the whole of 2018. Last year was the first time China had recorded fewer than 0.1 deaths per million tons of coal produced. However, CLB warned “China still has a long way to go, not only in terms of accident prevention but in dealing with legacy issues such as the hundreds of thousands of former miners suffering from pneumoconiosis, also known as black lung disease. Just last week, for example, more than 100 workers with pneumoconiosis from ten different provinces arrived in Haikou, the provincial capital of Hainan, to demand a formal diagnosis of their occupational disease, contracted while working in the province.” Read more: CLB news report and Work Accident Map. Source: Risks 925

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