China launches plan to make mines safer

FROM the coal and steel mines that dot parts of inland New South Wales and Queensland, China is a world away - and so is its safety record.  

In the past year, Australia had seven die in mining operations, including one man in Queensland and a woman in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales.   Queensland is considered among the safest mining regions in the world.  

New figures released by the Chinese Government highlight the risk of working at the other end of the list. In the past 12 months, 1049 people were killed or left missing after 589 mining "accidents".  

According to its official government figures, this was 24% less than 2012.   Reports from 12 months ago suggest 1300 workers died in incidents that year, although these do not include those still missing.  

On Sunday, China launched a "nationwide safety overhaul" to improve working conditions and "prevent the occurrence of major accidents" for those working at coal mines.