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Deadly blast in Shaanxi Province reveals a continuing crisis in China’s workplace safety, where ineffective enforcement and bad incentives have led to accidents being ‘frequently glossed over’

T
hough China reported 13,723 work-related deaths in the first half of this year — an 8.1% drop from last year — the number is likely underestimated as "weighty political pressures to report improvements in environmental and workplace safety" have led to looser definitions of violations. Moreover, practices such as only holding safety inspectors responsible for disasters in facilities they have inspected has led to a culture of "punishing rather than really preventing," according to a researcher at the China Labor Bulletin.
8 months ago
Lucas Niewenhuis
By Lucas Niewenhuis
Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the company's newsletter, app, and website content. Previously, Lucas researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
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