China vows to give more migrant workers industrial injury insurance

China vows to give more migrant workers industrial injury insurance
 November 22, 2006, people's daily

Chinese government will make greater efforts to cover at least 10 million migrant workers with industrial injury insurance next year.

Chen Gang, head of the Workplace Injury Insurance Division of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, said they would work to ensure major cities where migrant workers are concentrated extend cover, especially to those working in high risk sectors such as mining, the chemical industry and construction.

Chen told a national symposium on workplace injury cover in Tianjin that greater efforts were needed to encourage migrant workers in the service sector to buy insurance.

Migrant workers covered by insurance numbered more than 22 million.

China's economic boom has driven an unprecedented army of about 200 million people from farms to factories, construction sites and mines.

A survey by the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) in nine provinces showed that migrant workers accounted for 80 percent of China's 30 million construction workers. They also made up 56 percent of workers in the mining and dangerous chemical sectors and fireworks factories.

The survey also showed almost all the workers at small and state-owned collieries were migrant workers.

Poor safety facilities, slack safety rules and the lack of proper training made migrant workers the most vulnerable group in terms of work safety.

The government has been pushing for wider insurance coverage in vulnerable industries such as coal mining and construction.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Security in May launched a nationwide,three-year program, known as "Safety Action", with the purpose of bringing all migrant workers in highly risk sectors under the protection of the workplace injury insurance system.

Hu Xiaoyi, Vice Minister of Labor and Social Security, said the government aimed to have 140 million people covered by 2010.