China’s work-related deaths fell below 100,000 last year for the first time in more than ten years, reported the Associated Press. The State Administration of Work Safety reported that the number of deaths for 2008 totalled 91,172, a 10.2% decline from 2007. According to the latest figures, 11.4 Chinese workers die for every 100,000 on the job. In the US, there were 3.7 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers in 2007, the most recent numbers available. The government has been focusing on workplace safety in recent years, in particular in its coal mines, which are the most dangerous in the world for workers. In 2007, coal mine accidents in China caused 3,770 deaths. In 2008, this number declined by 15.1% to around 3,200 deaths, according to Zhao Tiechui, a senior official in charge of coal mine supervision. China shut down 1,054 small coal mines last year, but government figures show that nearly 80% of China’s 16,000 mines are operating illegally.
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