Why is 1971 important? Because before OSHA was formed in the USA in 1971, an estimated 14,000 workers were killed on the job that year. The US population was $207 million in 1971.
The point? If I've done the math right, the US worker-death rate was worse in the US in 1971 than it was in China this year, if reported numbers are reasonably accurate. As terrible as 70,000 worker deaths is, it's not as unsafe as our own working conditions not half a century back.
Much safer today
Under new amendments, in China, employers responsible for accidents could be fined as much as 20 million yuan, or just over $3 million.
It's notable that the Chinese government is trying. The world will be watching to see to what extent the penalties are imposed.
Because as we know, from instances in say mining penalties unpaid, here in the States, just because there could be a high price to pay doesn't mean companies actually pay up.
Wan Li, Brent I. Clark, and Craig B. Simonsen break down the details on China's efforts in this great blog post on the subject here.