Over the weekend, an explosion ripped through the Xinxing mine in the northeastern China province of Heilongjiang. Five hundred workers were underground at the time, and 107 of them have now been declared dead. Marianne Barriaux reports for AFP:

Press reports quoted Zhao Tiechui, deputy head of the state work safety agency, as saying overcrowded shafts were among the factors in the disaster at the Xingxing mine in northeast China.

“Excessively large coal faces being mined, too many people below ground and insufficient ventilation were factors in the accident,” Zhao was quoted saying by various media. …

The state-run Global Times newspaper reported that safety authorities had recently granted the mine a clean safety record.

The head, deputy head and chief engineer of the mine have been removed from their posts, state press reports have said.

The death toll from this disaster surpasses that of the 2007 explosion at a Shanxi province mine, which killed 105.

In other news:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration: OSHA offers crowd-control guidelines to protect workers during Black Friday sales. (Remember, last year worker Jdimytai Damour was trampled to death by Wal-Mart shoppers.)

Las Vegas Sun: A new Government Accountability Office report to Congress describes some of the factors that keep workers and employees from reporting on-the-job injuries and illnesses.

Associated Press: Civilian psychiatrist Dr. Kernan Manion says he was dismissed from his job for complaining to superiors about substandard care for Marines suffering from PTSD after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

New York Times: Research on hotel workers presented at the American Public Health Association annual meeting found that women workers were 50% more likely than men to be injured, and Hispanic housekeepers had the highest injury rate.

NIOSH Science Blog: The US lacks a surveillance or injury-reporting system for tracking hearing loss, but analysis from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health finds that more than 22 million workers are exposed to hazardous workplace noise, with those in the mining and manufacturing sectors being most at risk.