China passes law after accidents by ‘special equipment’

Beijing, June 29 (IANS) China Saturday passed a law on the safety of “special equipment” like elevators, boilers and cranes, amid public concern following a number of accidents that killed 18 people last month.

After three readings over the past two years, the law was passed at the bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, Xinhua reported.

The law will take effect Jan 1, 2013.

Accidents involving special equipment killed 18 people and injured five last month, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

The law says that enterprises producing, selling, operating, using and testing special equipment must take legal responsibility for their safety.

The government is only responsible for supervision and management.

Those violating the law could be fined up to two million yuan (around $325,000).

Government supervision will focus on the use of special equipment in schools, kindergartens, hospitals, bus stations, malls, parks and other public areas.

The watchdog shall keep files on all registered special equipment. Any person can report violations to the watchdog.

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