Chinese construction efforts have long been in the global industry spotlight.
With a reputation for safety that is anything but clean, China’s recent spate of fast-paced industry projects has brought about the attention of the global construction sector. While improvements have definitely been made in terms of architectural, environmental and safety standards to these buildings, it appears that in terms of infrastructure works, the safety bar may still be dismally low.
According to a Ministry of Railways document, 12 railway lines are defective to the point where they endanger personal safety. Five of these are still under construction.
While the safety failings have been confirmed by the national railway body, the document is said to have been circulated through the correct channels in order to correct these errors, with tenders suspended for future works by safety authorities.
According an anonymous source, the document lays out the seven still-running train lines that are noted to have ‘grave’ safety issues. These include the Wuhan-Guangzhou passenger line, Ningbo-Taizhou-Wenzhou line, Zhengzhou-Xi’an passenger line, Hainan east ring intercity rail, Wenzhou-Fuzhou line, Fuzhou-Xiamen line and the Nanchang-Jiujiang line.
Already this year, a major train line collapse occurred after heavy rainfall on the Hubei province high-speed rail system.
Industries around the world have been quick to critique China, resuscitating the damning term ‘blood soaked GDP’ in reference to China’s history of fast rail construction works that have led to a buoyant GDP but have also seen some terrible rail accidents and collapses. The Ministry of Railways has recently shown its support for a safer sector that is free of corruption.
Unfortunately, in breaking timeframe records for infrastructure developments and architectural feats, China has gained the attention of the world. This puts pressure on the nation’s ever-growing industry, pushing it to uphold stringent safety procedures. Without those procedures in place, the nation’s construction industry will see its illustrious developments tarnished and doubt arise as to the quality of its works.
While mistakes may be verified, the true strength of the industry will be shown in its ability to correct them and move forward following far more stringent OH&S practices.