Posts tagged ‘Occupational safety and health’


China imposes harsher punishment to ensure workplace safety – Xinhua |

China’s top legislature on Sunday adopted a revision to the Workplace Safety Law which imposes harsher punishment on offenders.

Members of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress adopted the revision through a vote at the bi-monthly legislative session held from Monday to Sunday.

The amendment further increased fines for enterprises involved in serious workplace accidents from the maximum of 5 million yuan (810,000 U.S. dollars) proposed in its original draft to 20 million yuan.

The quadrupled fine cap is stated in an added article which stipulates fines ranging from 200,000 yuan to 20 million yuan, depending on the losses incurred in the accident.

Under the old Workplace Safety Law, fines for enterprises violating the law were no more than 100,000 yuan or below five times the income earned from illegal operation.

Managers in charge of such enterprises who are found to have failed in their duty to ensure safety will also now be fined between 30 and 80 percent of their annual income corresponding to losses in the accidents.

This is a massive raise compared with the former law, under which managers faced fines between 20,000 yuan and 200,000 yuan.

The revised law states that managers responsible for “serious” and “extremely serious” accidents will be banned from serving as principals in enterprises in the same industry.

The regulation on work safety issued by the State Council in 2007 defines “serious accidents” as those causing 10 to 30 deaths, 50 to 100 serious injuries, or direct economic losses of between 50 and 100 million yuan.

via China imposes harsher punishment to ensure workplace safety – Xinhua |


* Apple hit by China Foxconn factory report

BBC News: “An independent investigation has found “significant issues” among working practices at Chinese plants making Apple iPhones and iPads. The US Fair Labor Association FLA was asked by Apple to investigate working conditions at Foxconn after reports of long hours and poor safety. The FLA says it has now secured agreements to reduce hours, protect pay, and improve staff representation.Apple said it “fully accepted” the reports recommendations. “We share the FLAs goal of improving lives and raising the bar for manufacturing companies everywhere,” it said in a statement.

The findings emerged as Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Foxconn facilities. Mr Cook toured Zhengzhou Technology Park, where 120,000 employees work, on Wednesday. A string of suicides at Foxconn last year put the spotlight on working conditions at its factories. Last month, the company announced it was to send independent inspectors from the FLA to audit the facilities.

The investigation – one of the largest ever conducted of a US companys operations abroad – found employees often worked more than 60 hours a week and sometimes for seven days running without the required day off. Other violations included unpaid overtime and health and safety risks. Average monthly salaries at the three factories ranged from $360 (£227) to $455 (£289).

Deutsch: Foxconn Logo

Deutsch: Foxconn Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Foxconn raised salaries by up to 25% recently. The FLA said Foxconn had agreed to comply with the associations standards on working hours by July 2013, bringing them in line with a legal limit in China of 49 hours per week. The company will hire thousands more workers in order to compensate for the move, Reuters reports.

The BBC’s Adam Brookes in Washington says the report has been much anticipated as embodying a new and transparent approach to an old problem: that of cheap but popular consumer goods manufactured in poor conditions in developing countries. However, he says, a telling line in the report is the one which notes that the Foxconn workers did not have true trade union representation. The authorities in China are very wary of unions and are likely to remain so. Before the report was released, labour unions expressed doubts that the company was committed to improving standards. “The report will include new promises by Apple that stand to be just as empty as the ones made over the past 5 years,”, a coalition of trade unions and consumer groups, said.Foxconn employs 1.2 million workers in China to produce products for Apple as well as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and other companies.”

via BBC News – Apple hit by China Foxconn factory report.

Good news: Foxconn workers to be treated fairly under Chinese labour laws. Bad news: having incvreased pay by 25% recently and now having to increase it further, China’s 1.2 million workers at Foxconn (a Taiwanese company) better be prepared for layoffs in the medium term as Foxconn turn to countries with cheaper labour; and there are plenty of these around. The latter follows the “law of unintended or contrary consequences.”

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