On April 15, 2016, the State Administration of Work Safety amended the Measures for the Administration of Contingency Plans for Work Safety Incidents. The amendments provide further guidance on creating, publicizing, distributing and administering contingency plans for work safety incidents and also increase the sanctions for non-compliance. The amended measures will take effect on July 1, 2016.
The current measures only provide general guidance for a company on how to create, publicize and administer its contingency plan. The amended measures provide more detailed guidance. In addition to the current requirements related to drafting, review, publication and filing, under the amended measures, companies will also need to:
- form a contingency plan drafting group who are experienced in onsite contingency management to assess risks and investigate available resources;
- publicize and distribute the contingency plan to relevant departments, personnel and rescue teams and further distribute it to workers on contingency plan cards that provide key information to help rescue teams respond promptly and efficiently to work safety incidents;
- inform other companies and people nearby who could be affected by work safety incidents and the planned response to those incidents; and
- assess the contingency plan on a “regular basis” to determine whether revisions to the plan are necessary (instead of automatically revising the plan once every three years as currently required).
The amended measures increase fines and extend liability from the company to responsible persons, and lower the threshold for violations. While the range of fines for most non-compliant activities remains RMB10,000 to RMB30,000, the fine for failure to draft a contingency plan or to organize emergency drills will increase to RMB100,000 for the company. Also, the person responsible for these failures can now be fined up to RMB20,000.
Key Take-Away Points:
Every company should be aware of the new requirements under the amended measures to avoid being liable for increased non-compliance penalties. The amended measures reflect the importance that the government is giving to work safety issues and the increase in fines and personal liability for responsible persons, further underlines this.