China suffered the second fatal mining tragedy in one week, in which 34 men died and 9 were trapped. In the past year, China has lost over 2,500 reported workers in mine fatalities, and it is considered very likely that a great many more were killed but the accidents were not reported. Why is this such a problem and what can be done about it?
China’s economy is growing at an exponential rate
Mining is struggling to keep up with the growing demands of China’s economy, and it simply is becoming unable to do so, especially when trade from China is also growing just as fast. When this occurs, mining companies seek to loosen the rules and get as much work done in as fast of a time as possible. Unfortunately, they may break rules and protocols set in place for the safety of the workers while doing so. This is both illegal and immoral, since illicit mining practices can endanger human life.
Mining companies which were previously shut down are now operating without permission
Whether this is initiated by the distributor, the manufacturer, or the company owner, illegally run mining companies are still operating in China so that businesses can take advantage of the growing demand for consumer products and the booming economy. Not only are mining companies not following safety and chain-of-command protocol, but they are operating outside of environmentally friendly practices. This is dangerous and possibly lethal for both humans and the earth on which we live.
Further investigations still need to be carried out
It is difficult to justify rampant investigation into illegal mining practices when, even with the “underground” mining operations in play, there are not enough mining operations to satisfy the needs of a growing economy such as China’s. Unfortunately, this may mean that growth needs to be slowed down, or at least partially checked, in order to satisfy safety demands. If products, or manufacturing thereof, are costing human life, then purchasing nations or companies are more likely to find safer and less controversial distributors from whom to buy. Slowing progress and making human safety a primary factor are good practices for any business, especially international companies which receive a lot of publicity.
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