People who work for safety assessment agencies and provide fake documents will be harshly punished in line with an interpretation released by China's top judicial authorities on Thursday.
The 12-article interpretation was issued by the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, to clarify charges regarding work safety in Criminal Law, maintain public security more effectively and create a safer environment for residents.
The interpretation focuses on safety assessment institutes because the country has experienced a number of work safety accidents as a result of falsified or inaccurate documents from such agencies in recent years, among them a warehouse blast in Tianjin in 2015 and a chemical plant explosion in Jiangsu province in 2019, according to authorities.
Therefore, the interpretation stipulates that people engaged in the agencies who intentionally forge or falsify data, information, technical reports of production companies, or cover up potential risks in construction will be charged with the crime of providing fake documents.
Under Criminal Law, those convicted will face a prison term of up to 10 years, together with a fine.
In addition, the interpretation specifies that people who let others begin risky construction through threats, bullying or management power should face the crime of forcibly ordering or organizing others to carry out illegal operation or production, which carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.
Judicial authorities attach great importance to cases involving work safety, "as it's a major matter concerning lives and property safety, and a symbol of healthy economic and social development," the top court said.
While judicial authorities step up efforts to maintain work safety, the Ministry of Emergency Management has also strengthened accountability in this regard.
Facilitated by the ministry, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, adopted an amendment to the Work Safety Law last year that ramps up risk control in emerging sectors such as the platform economy and increases punishment for violations.