Rewards for safety risk tipoffs increased

2021-03-25 12:04:56

Shandong province is encouraging the public to report production safety risks, including dangerous practices that might be illegal. A guideline released recently by the province is part of an effort to reduce the occurrence of risky situations. Any person or unit reporting hidden risks or practices will be eligible for a reward of up to 500,000 yuan ($76,700) once their report is verified, according to the guideline. "Shandong has had serious production safety issues, and several accidents have occurred since the beginning of this year," Qin Chuanbin, Party secretary of the Shandong Provincial Emergency Department, told a news conference on Tuesday. Explosions on Jan 10 at a gold mine that was under construction in Qixia led to the deaths of 10 miners. Eleven others were rescued after being trapped underground for two weeks, and one remains unaccounted for. A blaze at another gold mine in Zhaoyuan left six workers dead on Feb 17. Shandong has updated its reward incentives to accompany a provincewide campaign that's looking for production safety risks, Qin said. It has released guidelines on rewarding tipoffs about production safety risks before, but the rate of verification was low, as were the rewards offered, and that prompted the government to improve the guideline, Cao Lu, deputy head of the emergency department, said at the news conference. The public reported 3,807 production risks last year, with 1,101 later verified, resulting in the payment of 312,000 yuan in rewards, according to statistics provided by the department. The newly released guideline details the types of situations that should be reported, who will handle the reports and the level of reward available. It says those who report issues concerning "connected underground tunnels of neighboring mines" will get a reward of 500,000 yuan after verification, Cao said. The connection of neighboring mine tunnels could disrupt the management of underground workers and impair ventilation systems, leading to gas poisoning or asphyxiation. Those who report the concealment of accidents or delays in reporting them will be given a reward ranging from 30,000 to 500,000 yuan after verification. Reports could previously be made to related authorities by phone calls, letters or visiting their offices. Cao said people will now be able to make reports via the 12345 citizen services hotline if they have no idea who they should report to. Twenty-two sectors are being targeted for their high risks and safety problems, including mining, transportation, operations using dangerous chemicals, explosives or special equipment, and construction. This year's provincial budget allocated 798 million yuan for production safety and emergency management, a year-on-year increase of 19 percent that took into account the increased rewards, the Shandong Provincial Finance Department said. "Cities have set up their own reward regulations and have included the cost of rewards in their financial budgets," said Cui Zongtao, deputy head of the finance department. For example, Jining has allocated 8 million yuan for rewards this year, Cui said.