Putting workers’ safety first

The ILO advocates the principle of putting workers’ safety and health first. The ILO stands ready to provide continued support to the joint efforts of tripartite partners to prevent work-related accidents, injuries and diseases.

Press release | 07 January 2015
BEIJING (ILO News) -- The ILO has been deeply saddened by the gas explosion at the Fuhua Engineering and Manufacturing Co. factory in Foshan city on 31 December 2014. The ILO extends its heartfelt condolences to the workers who were killed or injured and to the families of the victims of this tragic incident. Every worker killed represents a loss of human life; a loss of a husband or wife, friend and colleague; a loss of income to families; and a loss of skills and experience to companies and society as a whole. The ILO hopes that the root causes of the accident will be thoroughly investigated with a view to preventing similar events in future.

The Foshan accident comes at a time when the community is still mourning the victims of the aluminium dust explosion which killed 146 workers and wounded 163 more at the Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Plating factory last August. Explosions occur when fuel – be it combustible dust or gas – is confined in an enclosed space and ignited by fire, sparks or a simple short circuit. The reoccurrence of such serious accidents shows that preventative hazard and risk assessment and effective interventions to manage the risks are essential to safety and health at work. Workers must be closely engaged in safety and health management and accident prevention through training, information and continuous workplace dialogue and cooperation. Effective risk control measures, employers’ responsibility for safety management and workers’ active participation in workplace safety and health management are among the core issues highlighted in the amended Work Safety Law of China which came into force on 1 December 2014.

The ILO advocates the principle of putting workers’ safety and health first. China ratified the Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155) in 2007. ILO stands ready to provide continued support to the joint efforts of tripartite partners to prevent work-related accidents, injuries and diseases.