The new PRC Safe Production Law: 7 things to know (2)

The new PRC Safe Production Law: 7 things to know (2)

Published on December 11, 2014

6) Employer liabilities

In accordance with the effective laws and regulations an employer’s liability for the workplace safety is divided into three levels – civil, administrative and criminal.

  1. Civil

Employees who suffer work-related injuries or occupational-diseases have the right to demand compensation from units where they work, in addition to enjoying the social insurance for industrial injuries in accordance with law. The Regulation on Work-Related Injury Insurances confirms that necessary costs and compensation of the employee shall be paid from work-related injury insurance funds and the employer.

  1. Administrative

In accordance with Section 6 of the Safe Production Law, the principal leading member of a production or business unit where any work-related injury occurs, or which commits a violation of laws or administrative regulations, will be punished or fined by the administrative authorities.

  1. Criminal

If an accident involving heavy casualties occurs in a factory, directors, legal representatives or senior managers will take personal liability.

Where the facilities for operational safety of a factory, or any other enterprise or institution, fail to meet State requirements and no measures are taken to remove hidden dangers that caused the accident after a warning has been given by the departments concerned or employees of the unit, so that an accident involving heavy casualties occurs or other serious consequences ensue, there are serious consequences. According to Article 135 of the Criminal Law, the person who is directly responsible for the accident shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years or criminal detention. If the circumstances are especially flagrant, he/she shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than seven years.

An employer’s liability for work-related injuries is a ‘non-fault liability’, which is to say, whether the employer is found at fault for the accident or not, they are still liable to pay the necessary costs related to the injuries.

7) Conclusion

Employers should always ensure that safety comes first. In order to mitigate work-related accidents and related injuries to employees, employers should:

  1. Raise safety awareness, improve self-protection capabilities and provide regular employee training, especially for new employees;

  2. Implement protective measures for safe production;

  3. Conduct regular checks of machinery and the working environment;

  4. Include a section on safe working practices in the employee handbook; and

  5. Insure the company against work-related accidents and sign a civil liability insurance contract based on the Regulation on Work-Related Injury Insurances.

With offices in China in Shanghai, Nanjing and Zhuhai and a network of professionals around the world, D’Andrea & Partners assists European companies in China as well as Chinese companies wishing to enter the global market through the establishment of foreign-invested enterprises or by mergers and acquisitions. The team is composed of both Chinese and European professionals, many of whom have experience of legal practice outside their home country.

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[1] Jilin Dehui Poultry Factory accident, 3rd June, 2013 – 21 dead; Shandong Qingdao oil pipeline blast, 22nd November, 2013 – 62 dead, 138 injured; Jiangsu Kunshan explosion, 2nd August, 2014 – 75 dead, 185 injured.

[2] In accordance with the Provisions on the Supervision and Administration of Occupational Health at Work Sites and the PRC Prevention and Control of Occupational Diseases Law.