Many companies prone to occupational diseases
As many as 3,500 companies in Shenyang are currently prone to occupational diseases, with over 860,000 people directly subjected to occupational hazards. Across a range of industries, there are more than 79 kinds of such hazards. The poor working environment, sizeable labour force and intense exposure to occupational hazards in most companies in Shenyang have combined to impact negatively on workers’ health.
Safeguarding workers’ health
In recent years, Shenyang has issued Rules for the Regulation and Management of Occupational Health in the Workplace and carried out inspections of companies in which occupational diseases are likely to occur. Aspects for inspection include:
occupational health record-keeping
acknowledging report forms and correspondence
daily inspection and evaluation reports
regular protective equipment inspection and maintenance records
accounting for personal protective gear
collection of records: training, labour contracts, health monitoring, physical examination, etc.
Inspectors also carried out on-site checks that workers were wearing the required protective devices, and asked them about the use of bulletin boards, warning notices and protective gear.
Where violations are discovered, the inspector will order the relevant company to rectify them in a timely manner, imposing sanctions, suspending production or even shutting the company down if it fails to make the rectification within the time limit or still does not satisfy the relevant requirements after doing so.
Measure 1. Building a professional team
Shenyang Work Safety Bureau established its first professional unit in this field – the Occupational Health Monitoring and Management Department – in July 2005. In recent years, the department has invested over 1.3 million yuan in purchasing on-site rapid inspection devices, including microcomputer dust detectors. It also decided to invest a further 1.3 million yuan on laboratory equipment and to establish a law enforcement monitoring and supervising department.
Measure 2. Strengthening occupational hazard reporting
Shenyang Work Safety Bureau issued the Notification for Strengthening Occupational Hazard Reporting in the second half of 2005 and started occupational hazard reporting work all over the city. From 2005 to 2009, a system of written reports as well as reporting through national and city websites was established and a plan for high-risk companies prepared.
Since 2006, a targeted citywide campaign has begun to tackle companies prone to occupational hazards. A total of 1,634 rectification orders were issued, some 650,000 yuan’s worth of fines were imposed on 163 companies, and 157 companies were closed down altogether. The campaign also encouraged companies to invest substantial capital in removing occupational hazards.
Measure 3. Strengthening training
In recent years, Shenyang Work Safety Bureau has held more than 20 professional training courses attended by over 350 safety supervisors, and organized lecturers to provide occupational health training for over 1,200 supervisors in county and district work safety departments.
Measure 4. Irregular and regular inspection
Since 2009, the Municipal Government of Shenyang has invested 500,000 yuan in regulation and inspection of occupational hazards across the city and carried out spot checks on 200 companies. It has ordered over 70 companies to execute rectification measures. Those that failed to rectify within the time limit have been closed down. At the same time, efforts continue with a view to confirming that the hazards in question have indeed been eliminated.