Official warns of danger from chemical plants

Updated: 2013-09-04 21:59

By Du Juan (

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China's increasing urbanization poses challenges for work safety in the chemical industry, as well as for communities located near chemical plants, said a senior work safety official on Wednesday.

Wang Haijun, a senior official at the State Administration of Work Safety made the comments during the China International Chemical Process Safety Symposium, held in Qingdao, Shandong province.

"Some chemical companies were once located outside of cities, but they are now inside because of the expansion of cities, which has raised issues for factories, such as how to co-exist harmoniously with urban populations," he said.

On the one hand, the majority of China's chemical companies are medium and small-scale enterprises with a relatively low production capacity, outdated manufacturing technologies and equipment. These often have difficulty in improving work safety standards, according to Wang.

On the other hand, many newly established projects have large capacities and lots of equipment, and they face huge work safety challenges of their own, due to the high risks relating to intensive investment and technology.

"When accidents happen in such big projects, the results can be very bad and the impacts huge," he said.