DuPont, China Enter into Workplace Safety Pact

Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont and the China Academy of Safety Science and Technology (CASST) earlier this week signed a memorandum of understanding that details a partnership between the two organizations aimed at improving industrial safety in China.

Initially, CASST and DuPont will focus their attention on the areas of chemical production and handling as well as industrial flash fire safety and protection, according to a statement issued by DuPont. Both organizations anticipate that the scope of work may broaden considerably over time, according to DuPont.

Among the initiatives detailed in the memorandum is the establishment of an Industry Safety Advisory Council. The council will consist of representatives from DuPont Personal Protection and CASST and its affiliated entities, as well as selected representatives from government and industry in China.

Council members will provide advice and strategic direction to the collaborative platform, a small team made up of DuPont and CASST appointees who will be charged with program execution and delivering results. The collaborative platform will focus first on the area of personal protection equipment, DuPont says.

China State Administration for Work Safety (SAWS) Vice Minister Sun Huashan, DuPont Safety & Protection Group President Mark Vergnano and CASST President Liu Tiemin joined 50 other guests, including representatives of related government agencies, at a signing event Sept. 19 in Beijing.

Safety in China: Progress Made, But Critical Challenges Remain

According to Sun Huashan, industrial safety in China has made rapid progress in recent years.

"The overall situation has been stabilized and is moving in a good direction. The challenges facing us are still critical, however," he said. "Adopting advanced safety technologies and equipment, implementing good safety management practices and facilitating safety development through science and technology innovation will help us achieve the goals set for improving industrial safety in China."

Sun added that the cooperation between CASST and DuPont will benefit China's advancement in workplace safety.

"SAWS endorses this partnership and will provide additional guidance and support," he said.

DuPont's Vergnano said the company signs the memorandum "with tremendous pride."

"China has set aggressive safety goals in its first safety 5-year plan," Vergnano said. "We are delighted to have been selected by our partner to work collaboratively to improve workplace safety performance in China's industrial sector."

CASST Was Established in 1980

CASST, which is part of China's State Administration for Work Safety (SAWS), was established in 1980 as the Safety Science and Technology Institute of the State Economic and Trade Commission. The agency became CASST in 1998 as part of a government reorganization in China, according to CASST's Web site.

CASST focuses on prevention of major industrial incidents; urban public safety planning and emergency response; and theoretical, application and engineering research in the areas of safety and protection materials and risk cause identification, assessment and control.

One hundred seventy employees, including 50 with Ph.D.s and 60 with master's-level educations, make up the CASST team, according to a statement issued by DuPont.

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