Dire need to improve safety and health in non state-owned enterprises

Asian Labour News, 29 September 2004

The Anhui Federation of Trade Unions has surveyed 19,587 non state-owned enterprises in 7 cities on work safety and health. 600,000 workers are employed in the enterprises.

The survey found that 66% of industrial accidents and 80% of incidents that damage workers' health in the province occurred in non state-owned enterprises. The major problems outlined in the survey are:

1 There is no mechanism for work safety and health management. Many enterprises do not employ a specialist. Training on work safety is bad and trade union committees are only part-time staff.

2. Production and work in small and medium enterprises are not regulated. Workers are often unskilled. Many enterprises do not have employment contracts with workers and some enterprises even employ female and child workers to work in dangerous and physical jobs. Most enterprises do not apply for work injury insurance for workers.

3. Most of the non state-owned enterprises invest less in work safety. The working environment is bad and equipment for production is backward.