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Reflections on Coal Mine Safety in China

Reflections on Coal Mine Safety in China

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Reflections on Coal Mine Safety in China

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  1. Reflections on Coal Mine Safety in China Tianyu (Helen) Hei Shandong Bureau of Coal Mine Safety and Supervision and visiting scholar at Central Queensland University (t.hei@cqu.edu.au)

  2. Reflections on Coal Mine Safety in China • My short talk focuses on safe mining. • It suggests that the safety record of our industry is best understood in terms of the nature of the Chinese coal resources and the structure of the coal industry in China. • It argues that increased mechanisation underpinned by education and training are key strategies for improving the efficiency and safety of the coal industry in China.

  3. Presentation Outline • The nature of coal resources in China • The structure of the coal industry in China • Coal mining safety • The way ahead – Shandong Province

  4. The nature of coal resources in China • The geology of mining in China is much more like the UK than it is like Australia. • The Chinese coal seams are relatively deep; there are relatively few seams suitable for longwall mining;and even fewer that are suitable for open cut.

  5. The nature of coal resources in China China is now the second largest coal exporter after Australia. China’s coal exports have trebled in the past three years. China exported 108 Mt of coal in 2002 mainly to Northeast Asia (i.e. Japan, South Korea and Taipei).

  6. Structure of the Coal Industry in China China’s coal industry is structured across three sectors: • town and village coal mines • state owned local coal mines • state owned key coal mines

  7. Structure of the Coal Industry in China China Coal Production from 2001 to 2003 (source: State Bureau of Coal Mine Safety and Supervision 2003 )

  8. Structure of the Coal Industry in China There is an ongoing trend of closure of small collieries. In 1997 there were 82,000 collieries in China. By the end of 2000 this was reduced to 35,000 as a result of the closure of 47,000 small collieries resulting in a loss of 350 million tons of production.

  9. Structure of the Coal Industry in China Output from the top ten super collieries (all with output above 20Mt) is increasing: Comparison of output from the ten top mines for 2002 and 2003 Unit: 10Mt (source: State Bureau of Coal Mine Safety and Supervision 2003 )

  10. Structure of the Coal Industry in China • Since about 1998 the management of coal mining in China has been decentralised to provincial government. However, the industry remains very much a government enterprise. • The lack of independent safety inspections led, in 2000, to the establishment of the State Bureau of Work Safety and Supervision (SBWS). • The SBWS HQ is in Beijing. It has a staff of 160 and operates under the authority of the State Economic and Trade Commission (SETC).

  11. Structure of the Coal Industry in China At a national level the SBWS is responsible for the development of policy and legislation on work and safety – including inspections. Enforcement of mine safety law is carried out at the provincial and municipal level by the local Bureau of Coal Mine Safety and Supervision. These Bureaus report to provincial government but take policy and guidance from the SBWS.

  12. Coal mining safetySafety is a continuing problem in the Chinese coal industry Death in China’s Coal Industry from 2001 to 2003 (Source: State Bureau of Coal Mine Safety and Supervision 2003)

  13. Coal mining safety Safety outcomes are best in the more highly automated key coal mines and worst in the small town and village coal mines.

  14. Coal mining safety (Source: the State Bureau of Coal Industry 1999)

  15. Coal mining safety • Fatality rates are higher in China’s mechanised mines (i.e. state owned key mines) than they are in Australian mines. • Australian mines have about 50 times less fatalities.

  16. Coal mining safety Summary: • Coal will continue as a key resource in China for many years to come. • The industry is changing with greater concentration on the best coal seams that facilitate mechanisation through longwall and open cut mining. • Nonetheless coal mining of poorer quality seams will continue and in this sector in particular manual operation will have dominance. • At present, China has around 28,000 coal mines of which 25,000 are small scale mines — town and village coal mines. These mines have poor working conditions, they are small and backward - 80% of accidents occur within those small mines.

  17. The way ahead - Shandong Shandong • Shandong Province is located in the east of China; it is lie in between Beijing and Shanghai. Shandong province is the birth place of Confucius. • Shandong is undergoing rapid economic development and is looking forward to a bright future. • Shandong is a large province in China.It ranks second in coal production, currently 0.1 billion tonnes per annum and the proven reserves are27.8 billion tonnes.

  18. The way ahead - Shandong Shandong has the best coal industry safety record in China. The Shandong Bureau of Coal Mine Safety and Supervision most recently reported that from Jan to Sep 2004: • the coal output in Shandong was 104.61 Mt • the fatality rate was 0.42 people/Mt – a decrease of 0.36 people/Mt from the same period last year (and far smaller than the national rate of 3.71 people/Mt in 2003). Shandong is ranked No. 2 in the country in terms of coal output, and No.1 in terms of production safety.

  19. The way ahead - Shandong • We believe that this in large part reflects a focus on safety training. • Education and training are key drivers that underpin a safety culture. • In China training for the coal mining industry is delivered through four types of institution: • Level A and Level B Institutions: training of coal mine managers and safety controllers Level C Institutions: training of special occupational workers in special technical skills Level D Institutions: On-site worker training at mine sites

  20. The way ahead - Shandong • Training parallels the Chinese Qualification framework. The coal mining industry is seeking to introduce minimum education and training standards for employment in the coal industry - e.g. Mine manager and safety controllers – minimum 2 year diploma All other employees – at least secondary school graduation.

  21. The way ahead - Shandong Shandong province is leading the way towards an efficient and safe Chinese coal mining industry. It is supported by the Shandong Bureau of Coal Mine Safety and Supervision and the Shandong University of Science and Technology. The Bureau and the University both welcome international collaboration in education, training and research.

  22. References • China Mining Association and Ministry of Land and Resource 2000; • State Bureau of Coal Mine Safety and Supervision 2000; • Chinese State Council 2002, the work Safety Law, Beijing • Chinese State Bureau of Coal Industry 1999, production statistics. • Shandong Coal Mine Safety and Supervision 2002, Report of annual coal mining safety and supervision in Shandong province, by General Director Gong Maoquan • Jing, J 1995, ‘Comparison between the world’s main coal producers with coal resources and support policies’, Journal of Coal Economy Research, vol.6, P.7-8 • State Bureau of Coal Mine Safety and Supervision 2003, National Coal production and safety, URL: http://www.chinacoal-safety.gov.cn/meikuangjiancha(accessed 16August 2004) • State Bureau of Coal Mine Safety and Supervision 2002, Standards of coal mining safety training (安监 管人字〔2002〕 37号), Standards China, Beijing.

  23. Thank you for your attention