Fireworks Work Safety Incidents Reported by Media, 2011- 2016

Published: 31 May 2018| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/6mntnmf843.1
Chu Qian


Data were collected by using the search engine of Xinhua, the country’s official press agency. It is the most influential media outlet in China, encompassing national and local news from 23 provinces, 4 direct-controlled municipalities, 5 autonomous regions and 2 special-administrative regions (Xinhua). A search using Xinhua’s news engine will run through all national, district and county-level news agencies’ databases, thereby offering a comprehensive data source. Keywords ‘firework explosion’ (Chinese: yanhua baozhu baozha), without quotation mark (‘‘), were typed into the entry to search ‘in all fields’. The duration of this study is from Feb 20th, 2011 to Feb 19th, 2016, spanning five years. To simplify the process, searches were done in order of decreasing relevance by month, and results were browsed through manually to pinpoint relevant reports. Quotation marks were not included in the search because this would have only yielded articles with that exact phrase (Barker, unknown), and the goal is to capture all possible reports that has keywords switched order or separated by other information. Each accident is characterized by the following six variables: timestamp, location, severity, legality, level of administration, and the stage at which an accident happened. A ‘timestamp’ is a footprint of the year, month and day when the event happened. ‘Location’ is determined by province, city and county/district. ‘Level of administration’ describes whether the location is urban, suburban or rural. ‘Severity’ has two components to represent the number of people ‘injured’ or ‘dead’ as a result of the explosion. ‘Legality’ represents the presence or absence of legal allowance of operation granted to the firework manufacturers. ‘Stage’ is the manufacturing step at which an accident happened; it can be during production, storage, transportation, retail, disposal or others. ‘Others’ is a separate category to subsume rare causal factors such as lightning-initiated incidents. The breakdown of each variable in more detail can be found in Table 1. An arbitrary numeric value is assigned to each variable for subsequent statistical analysis. In some cases, when certain information cannot be obtained from the report, missing entries are allowed. This is due to the heterogeneity of news reports, and the fact that different media companies emphasize on differing aspects of an incident.



Columbia University


Occupational Health and Safety