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Wider insurance coverage sought
Published on: 2013-04-26
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altThe social security authority on Thursday urged wider coverage of work-related injury insurance to better protect the rights of workers who face a high risk of injury.
"We will strengthen efforts to push enterprises in high-risk industries, such as mining and construction, to provide work-injury insurance for workers. Those industries are our key targets in this field," Yin Chengji, spokesman for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, told a news conference.
"We have been stressing employers' responsibilities in this matter," he said.
Yin did not elaborate on any concrete measure the ministry will take to extend insurance coverage.
Current laws require companies to provide work injury insurance for employees and ensure the country's work injury insurance fund covers treatment fees and compensation to injured workers — as long as the employee's company pays for the insurance.
If the employer did not pay for the insurance, it should be responsible for all fees.
Zhao Wei, a labor expert at Beijing Normal University, said farmers who became migrant workers are major victims of work-related injuries.
A survey last year conducted by Zhao found that only 33 percent of construction workers in Beijing have signed labor contracts with employers.
"Almost all workers are covered by work-injury insurance as long as they have signed employment contracts with bosses," she said. "But we found that a majority of construction workers have no insurance coverage."
Zhao said although most employers who do not provide work-injury insurance would pay for injured workers' first aid, they do not provide compensation. 
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