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China drafts safety law for special equipment

(Xinhua)

08:16, August 28, 2012

BEIJING, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- China's legislature on Monday started deliberating a draft law on the safety of special equipment, or equipment that operates under high pressure, temperature or speed with a potential threat to public safety.

The equipment specified includes boilers, elevators and cranes, as well as other items, according to a draft law submitted to the 28th bimonthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.

From 2005 to 2010, accidents involving such equipment claimed over 1,600 lives across China, according to a briefing given by Wen Shizhen, vice chairman of the NPC's Financial and Economic Affairs Committee.

The purpose of the legislation is to prevent such accidents through an institutional buildup that can stop risks at their source, said Wen.

Besides strengthening existing supervisory measures, the draft specifies primary responsibilities for manufacturers and operators of special equipment, whose responsibilities are unclear under current rules.

The draft also clarifies the compulsory implementation of technological safety standards, which are applicable to imported special equipment.

A government-monitored recall mechanism for defective equipment is also being proposed in the draft, as well as a voluntary recall provision for manufacturers.

In addition, the draft requires local authorities and equipment operators to create emergency response plans for possible accidents.

China has over 50,000 registered manufacturers of special equipment, according to Wen's report.

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