02/16/2009

EU and China launched new dialogue

The EU and China launched a new dialogue to improve working conditions and
reduce work-related accidents and illnesses. Vladimr pidla, European
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and China's
Ambassador Song Zhe signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on health and
safety at work in Brussels.

The MoU will set up a structured dialogue covering issues of common interest in
the field of health and safety at work. The dialogue aims to improve mutual
understanding on health and safety through activities ranging from regular
exchanges of information, legislation and best practice to joint studies,
seminars and conferences. Annual review meetings will bring together senior
officials from both sides. In addition, China and the EU are currently
exploring the possibility of a substantial cooperation project to support the
State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) in their commitment to improve
Chinese workers' health and safety.

The signature follows recent cooperation between the EU and China in the field
of coal mine safety, an area particularly emphasised in the MoU.

China produces around 40% of the world's coal and it still represents the vast
majority of all coal mine accidents in the world. Accidents in the industry are
considered to be the second highest cause of accidental death in China, after
road traffic accidents, with close to 6,000 deaths per year on average.


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AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at work