Hong Kong-based NGO China Labour Bulletin has created a work accident map that recorded and mapped the 38 explosions in the mainland that have taken place so far this year, which averages at about one incident every six days.

The map provides details such as the location, date, description, industry, province, and news links related to the incidents.

work accident map
China Labour Bulletin’s Work Accident Map

The latest accident was an explosion that occurred at the Dongying industrial zone in Shandong province on Monday night, which killed least five people. Last week, there was another chemical blast in Shandong, killing one and injuring nine.

second shandong explosion
Explosion in Shandong. Photo:

The incidents came less than a month after massive chemical explosions in Tianjin took at least 145 lives, raising concerns about the safety of industrial zones in China.

The Tianjin explosion raised questions about the storage of industrial chemicals, after a residential complex 600m away from a warehouse was badly damaged in the blast. Eleven officials and 12 company executives have been arrested as the nation’s highest level of prosecutors stepped in to investigate the cause of the explosions and why chemical warehouses were allowed to be built just a few hundred metres away from homes, contravening a 2001 government regulation to keep homes and chemical storage facilities apart.

Tianjin explosion
Tianjin explosion. Photo: Sina.

The NGO has recorded a total of 346 workplace accidents this year, including 10 explosions at chemical plants and warehouses, six in coal mines and four separate explosions at firework factories. It notes that common causes for accidents are “a lack of maintenance and routine safety precautions, poor training and the disregard of work safety laws and regulations in the push for higher productivity and profit.”

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.