The head of China's newly established emergency management authority asked his colleagues in a national video conference on Thursday to enhance their emergency response preparedness.
"Now is the key time for institutional restructuring. We should intensify emergency preparedness and be more devoted to our duty," said Huang Ming, Party secretary of the newly established Ministry of Emergency Management.
The emergency response system should be improved and capacity should be strengthened to ensure rapid, effective response, he said.
"We should start from the ministry departments and the Party committee. There should be leaders on duty day and night," he said.
Law enforcement and inspections should be intensified, and more attention should be paid to fire risks in tall buildings and underground spaces, he said.
He also called for the use of advanced work safety equipment and standardized production to improve risk management.
The number of work safety accidents so far this year decreased by 33 percentage points from last year and the death toll from these accidents also declined by almost 29 percentage points. No accidents with more than 30 deaths or direct economic losses of 100 million yuan ($16 million) have happened yet in 2018, according to the ministry.
The ministry vowed to speed up the integration of the emergency response system of the former State Administration of Work Safety, as well as that of firefighting departments to improve performance.
It will launch a work safety inspection in 16 provincial regions in May.
Zheng Guoguang, head of the China Earthquake Administration, which has been integrated into the ministry, and Ye Jianchun, who was vice-minister of the Ministry of Water Resources before the restructuring, participated in the meeting as members of the ministry's Party committee.
The National People's Congress approved a proposal by the State Council to establish the Ministry of Emergency Management, which is to take the lead in handling China's major emergency responses and to improve the public safety system.
The new ministry will take over the responsibilities of the former State Administration of Work Safety, along with functions from other ministries, including firefighting from the Ministry of Public Security, disaster relief from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, geological disaster prevention from the Ministry of Land and Resources, drought and flood control from the Ministry of Water Resources and prairie fire control from the Ministry of Agriculture.