Overview of Health and Safety in China

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1 Overview of Heath and Safety in China Hongyuan Wei 1, Leping Dang 1, and Mark Hoye 2 1 Schoo of Chemica Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin , P R China, E-mai: 2 AstraZeneca pc, Maccesfied, Cheshire, SK10 2NA, Engand Current status and future deveopment regarding heath and safety production and egisation in China has been reviewed and anayzed in this paper. Since economic reform and opening, the entire society has noticed the importance of heath and safety, as this coud be a big barrier for the further deveopment. Significant progress has been made over ast 25 years with respect to heath & safety research and practices. Meanwhie, heath & safety egisation and environmenta protection aw has been estabished and operated in a much more stringent manner; however, safety is sti a major issue which damages China s reputation and has significant societa as we as economic impact. The Chinese government is paying increased attention to the areas of heath and safety, such as estabishing new egisations and appying new techniques to activey tacke key probem areas. The heath and safety issue in China is not ony confined by the egisation and reguation but aso greaty infuenced by its socia and cuture background. Therefore, it is very much an inter-discipinary science and shoud have integration with oca society. In order to maintain sustainabe socia and economic deveopment the government has defined heath and safety as a key area with interim and ong-term pans for nationa deveopment. 1. Introduction With the major economic deveopment and socia reform in China over the ast 25 years there has been an associated increase in iving standards. The peope and their government have paid more and more attention to heath and safety issues. Safety management has become a centra focus for scientific research and reguatory attention. The entire society has come to recognize that heath and safety probems are critica to the wefare of each individua as we as to the sustainabe socia and the economic deveopment of the country. Meanwhie, new technoogies and innovations have been appied to heath and safety issues aong with the systematic estabishment of egisation and reguation by the government. [1] It is a fundamenta premise of conventiona wefare economics for the pubic poicy makers that pubic decisions shoud, as far as possibe, refect the preferences of those who wi be affected by them. However, both technica and human errors are sti seen, especiay, in the fied of safety management and accident prediction. [2] Safety and heath is sti a major probem, which wi continue to damage society and the economy. This paper wi give an overa review and anaysis of Heath and Safety reated egisations in China, under the five foowing subjects: Current status Background and origination of safety accidents

2 Heath & safety management system Estabishment and appication of egisations and reguations Deveopment of heath and safety in the near future 2. Current status At present, the concept of safety is being underpinned and significant transformation is occurring across the entire society. Major progresses are being made in terms of safety theory, safety technique, and constructive safety cuture. Nevertheess, many fata accidents are sti taking pace, and with them come the associated damage to society with respect to peope s ives and heath and the underying damage to the countries reputation and economy. Figure 1 shows the distribution of accidents in different industries from November to December, Accidents during transportation were by far the major contributor, but as a subset exposions and accidents during mining activities made up another major proportion thereafter. Based on the statistica data from the State Administration Work Safety of China, there were 627,158 accidents during production activities in Human casuaty in these accidents totaed 112, severe accidents (>30 fataities each) resuted in 263 peope osing their ives. The number of major accidents (>10 fataities each) was 95, giving a tota oss of ife of accidents resuted in between 3 and 9 deaths (9065 fataities in tota). [3] The anaysis of major accidents in the ast decades aso cas for more systematic safety management systems (SMS) and reguatory frameworks governing systems appied in manufacturing faciities. 3. Background and Causation of safety reated accidents Based on the survey of State Occupationa Safety and Heath Association (China), there are five main aspects with respect to the present background and causation of safety issues in China, iustrated as foows: [1, 4, 5] Figure 1. Accident Type Distribution from November to December,

3 1. Limited resource is focused on safety during production. Inadequate supervision and management of safety is often toerated in many production sites and imited finance/ funding is appied directy to safety. These are obviousy major causa factors. It is estimated that ony a third of the tota cost of impementing safety procedures is impemented in China against that of other industriaised countries. 2. The cutura background in China is not one given over to safety consciousness. Athough Chinese civiization is over 5,000 years od, China has mainy been an agricutura country. Industriaization in rea terms ony started 30 years ago when China began its economic reform. 3. Compared with the rate of economic deveopment, heath protection and accident prevention systems have deveoped at a much sower pace, especiay, in mining and the chemica industries. 4. Means and monitoring of impementing the Safety in Production Act are very weak. 5. There is reuctance to use new techniques or equipment that wi provide or improve safety during prod uction. In fact, neary a the accidents that occurred in the process industry were caused by improper process or equipment design or ack of the preventative contro system. Nowadays safety management has become a fashionabe term and the focus of study, but it coud be dangerous to think it wi sove a the safety issues. Good engineering and behaviora safety (human factor anaysis) are both equay important. One cannot simpy substitute one for another in a deveoping economy. No matter how good safety management is, it cannot make up for poor design and ack of operating contro. Safety and heath effects are we studied and can be assessed according to science-based and commony accepted methods of risk anaysis. [6] In risk anaysis terms we can formuate the task of a safety management system as a common mode infuence that is designed to keep a faiure probabiities in the faut tree at the ower ends of their intrinsic bounds. It aso anticipates a significant risk scenarios and design measures to eiminate them, or at east to reduce and provide robust contro of them. The question of interest is whether we know enough about how safety management operates in order to design, assess, and improve the systems appied in practice. 4. Heath & safety management system The Chinese government has appointed institutions to manage Heath & Safety. The uppermost institutions are State Administration Work Safety of China (SAWS) and State Administration of Coa Mine Safety under which there are many oca subordinate organizations. The function of oca organizations are to ensure the enterprise s approach to safety during production and empoyee s rights, supervise the performance of egisation and reguation, and report accidents etc. Besides a the oca organizations, SAWS aso has some branches such as the China Academy of Safety Sciences and Technoogy (CASST) and the State Occupationa Safety 3

4 and Heath Association. The major roes of those branch organizations are: technoogica support to SAWS, promoting the deveopment of safety science & technoogy, Heath and Safety education, and trade, and providing services to enterprises reated to safety technoogy, and information management. CASST, as an exampe, is a research institute covering the areas of major accident prevention, major hazard identification, assessment and monitoring, risk assessment and management, buiding major accident & emergency systems and emergency panning, deveoping safety & hygiene engineering technoogy, work safety inspection and management systems, and basic theory of work safety and work safety economics. 5. Estabishment and appication of egisation and reguation The Chinese government is seeking to estabish new safety egisations revoutionariy to reduce the number of major accidents. Prescriptive aws and reguation aimed speciay at technica preventive measures are to be impemented. There is an inevitabiity that these wi potentiay trai behind new deveopments in technoogy. The responsibiity for devising the means of risk contro wi be taken not by the companies and industries that generated the technoogy, but by the reguator. The framework egisation requires companies to deveop their own safety management system to specify, impement, and evauate the detaied preventive measures. Therefore, more systematic management systems for safety are required to be further deveoped, structured, assessed, and improved. The Safety in Production Act was promugated in 2002 in China. Consequenty, it became a centra task for safety peope to work on how to systematicay and scientificay standardize the certification and accreditation of Occupationa Safety and Heath Management System, and how to estabish an efficient and standardized mechanism. Objectivity and pubicity in impementing the Safety in Production Act have aso been given cose attention by safety workers. In addition, the mechanism of market permission and inspection has been put forward in order to impement the Act effectivey. The constitution of nationa and internationa standards for safety management is in progress, modeed on the ISO 9000 series for quaity management and the ISO series for environmenta management systems. [7] Meanwhie, heath & safety egisation and environmenta protection aw have been estabished and operated in a much more vigorous manner. The effective management system is identified as Occupationa Heath and Safety (OHS) Management System, which is a method of going about your business whist reducing risks to your staff. An effective OHS Management System can aso hep estabish the framework of compiance with the two fundamenta eements of OHS egisation, that is: Empoyers providing and maintaining a working environment that is safe. Empoyees taking reasonabe care for the heath and safety of themseves and others. 4

5 6. Safety practices in the chemica industry China has been the manufacture centre for the word. The Chemica industry has aso bossomed over the ast 10 years; therefore, heath and safety issue have become the major chaenge for this industry. Athough the chemica industry in China has far better performance in terms of safety than other industries, such as mining and transportation, there are sti many probems that need to be soved. The main causes for chemica accidents are: speed of the deveopment without serious consideration of safety; Budget saving and cost reducing; Improper design and engineering work; Lack of technoogies to contro hazards; Mismanagement; Awareness for safety due to the cuture background; The good news is that the best practice of safety management system for the oi, petrochemica and coa chemica industries have been deveoped by the State Administration of Work Safety, aiming at estabishing contro systems for different safety casses, such as exposion-isoation or safety spark type, which ensures the production safety for chemica processes. Current trends show that more and more chemica enterprises have taken initiatives to conduct Safety and Environment impact studies for their intended investment in China. Ecoogica consideration is becoming vita to the industry s sustainabe deveopment. Besides impementing nove technoogies in chemica pants, Safe & Green Concept for designing and engineering are widey appied in many midde size and arge chemica companies. Responsibe chemica enterprises, which offer the mora, ega and financia necessities to ensure safety, are wecome by empoyees and the whoe society. Great effort has been successfuy put on introducing advanced and safer chemica technoogies from oversea during the periods of the Tenth Five-Year Pan ( ), the Eeventh Five-Year Pan ( ). Importing of technoogies with emphasis on safety and environment has continued. There is aso more opportunity for internationa coaborations in SHE areas. Aongside safer technoogy impementations, an advanced management system for the chemica industry has been introduced. It consists of nine aspects: 1) Safety poicy: Written safety poicies for each factory sha be estabished and maintained with emphasis on protecting the safety, heath and the genera we being of every personne working in the factory. This spes out management s commitment towards safety and the principes that govern safety and heath decisions in the factory. Senior management sha ensure that the safety poicy is communicated to a empoyees and reevant contractors and, sha estabish a cuture that safety and heath are vaued as basic and fundamenta prerequisites for the business of the factory. 2) Safe work practices: Safe work practices sha be carried out in the factory through procedura and administrative contro of work, critica operating steps and parameters, 5

6 pre-start up safety reviews for new and modified pant equipment and faciities, and management of change of pant equipment and process. 3) Training: Empoyees and contractors at a eves sha be equipped with the knowedge, skis and attitudes reating to the operation or maintenance of faciities so as to work in a safe and reiabe manner. An effective training program sha be estabished to train empoyees at a eves. A scheme sha be devised to identify the safety and heath training needs for each eve of empoyees and contractors. 4) In-house safety rues and reguations: Written safety rues and reguations for a personne in the factory sha be estabished to insti a common understanding of their safety and heath obigations and responsibiities. A set of basic safety rues and reguations sha be formuated in the factory to reguate safety and heath behaviour at the workpace. The rues sha cover the main work operation or process in the factory. 5) Safety promotion: The management s commitment and eadership sha be ceary demonstrated in promoting good safety and heath behaviors and practices in the factory. Promotiona programs sha be deveoped and conducted. Safety and heath awareness sha be raised and maintained among a empoyees and contractors. 6) Safety inspection: A system sha be estabished to verify compiance with the reevant reguatory requirements, in-house safety rues and reguations and safe work practices. The factory sha deveop and impement a written program for forma and panned safety inspections to be carried out in the factory. The program sha incude safety committee inspection, routine safety inspection, pant and equipment inspection and other specia or surprise inspection. 7) Hazard anaysis: Hazards sha be methodicay identified, evauated and controed in processes in a factory. The process of Hazard Anaysis sha be documented and sha incude measures over serious scenarios that coud occur in a factory. Necessary corrective or contro measures sha be incorporated to mitigate the frequency or severity of the risks associated with the scenario event. 8) Occupationa heath programs: Occupationa heath hazards sha be identified, evauated and controed to protect a personne from deveoping occupationa diseases or inesses arising from their exposure. The program is to specific occupationa heath hazards presented in the work environment and estabish poicies and pans to protect a workers from them. 9) Emergency preparedness: A program of dris and exercises sha be estabished to assess the preparedness of the factory for prompt and effective response to emergency situations. Factories sha estabish effective first-aid programs to provide first-aid and emergency treatment to victims of an accident, which incude provision of adequate first-aid faciities and trained first-aiders. Peope in the chemica industry start to understand that SHE chaenges cannot be overooked as we strive for a better ife and a favourabe economic achievement for the country whie keeping in ine with the goa of the goba sustainabe deveopment. The effort on SHE issues has enabed us to make this industry a safe pace to work despite the misperception by many that associate chemicas with fear. The chemica industry in 6

7 China wi continue to push forth its efforts on SHE to manage the ife-cyce of chemicas through coaborating cosey with the word. 7. Deveopment of heath and safety in the near future The Chinese government has recenty made high-profie efforts to buid a harmonious society on an a-round, we-off basis, a goa which has given fu expression to the peopeoriented deveopment perspective. To reguate industria practices, in a sense to truy protect workers safety and heath, is a ogica step amid efforts to buid a harmonious society. That is a society buit on the foundations of democracy, the rue of aw, justice, sincerity, amity, vitaity, and stabiity, harmony between man and nature, and coordinated economic and socia deveopment. These continuous improvements can benefit society as a whoe. By taking major measures such as institutiona reform, embedding safety mechanisms/techniques into production, increasing funding on safety issues, etc., then continuous improvement of workpace safety and working conditions nationwide wi foow. This wi drive improvements in the current rising trend of tota accidents, whist maintaining the sustainabe and rapid growth of the Chinese economy. Whist China, the word s argest deveoping country, is going through a major industriaisation process, the work safety infrastructure remains weak, indicated by the reoccurrence of major accidents in certain industries (and in certain areas of the country). The economy of the country is reativey unbaanced and of reativey ow productivity when ooked upon as a whoe. China s work safety status is so far incompatibe with what a we-off harmonious society demands, and in this connection there is sti a ot of work to be done to improve it. The Government needs to continue to give top priority to safety issues, promoting a preventive safety cuture within workpaces and overseeing that the primary responsibiity of enterprises is given to workpace safety. Government reguators need to fufi their roe in ensuring this is rigorousy enforced and audited effectivey. Sustained efforts have to be made in promoting safety cuture, buiding a sound ega framework governing work safety, impementing the safety responsibiity system, advancing safety science and technoogy, and increasing the funding of safety measures. It is the Chinese government s aim to enhance safety management at source, eiminate hazards that stand in the way of improved safety conditions, and ensure safety at an intrinsic eve. To better fufi this mission, the Chinese government ought to broaden their horizons and continue to further embrace the outside word in the fied of heath and safety. The Chinese government is eager to enhance cooperation with the reevant intergovernmenta organizations, foreign governments, intermediaries, mutinationa companies and enterprises of different categories, to examine and earn safety phiosophies, sciences, technoogies and management approaches that originate in other countries and regions. [8] Hopefuy, assisted with internationa wisdom, China wi baze a new trai to put work safety on a soid basis and achieve steady and rapid improvement of its work safety situation. As a responsibe payer in the internationa community, China can make due 7

8 contributions in impementing the Goba Strategy on Occupationa Safety and Heath and creating for mankind a safe, harmonious environment with ess potentia for major accidents. References [1] Luo Yun, The status anaysis of safety production in China, Deveopment and observation in China. 2005, 5, [2] Graham Loomes, (How) Can we vaue heath, safety and the environment, Journa of Economic Psychoogy. 2006, 27, [3] Wang Yajun, Huang Ping, Statistics of industria accidents in China during the period from November to December in 2006, Journa of Safety and Environment. 2007, 7(1), [4] Xu Deshu, Chinese Safety Cuture Construction-Research and Discovery, Sichuan Safe Science and Technoogy. 1998, 16 (3), [5] Xu Deshu, Times Background on the Safety Cuture Construction in China, China Safety Science Journa. 1999, (4), 1 7. [6] Guntram Koer, Urich Fischer, and Konrad Hungerbu1 her, Assessing Safety, Heath, and Environmenta Impact Eary during Process Deveopment, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 2000, 39, [7] Hae A.R., Safety Management in Production, Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing. 2003, 13 (3), [8] Jin Lei, Xu Deshu, Luo Yun, Strategy of Safety and Reducing Disasters in China for the 21st Century, Kaifeng, Henan University Pubishing House, Dec

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