Coal mine owners are being told to buy insurance for their workers in the first legal attempt to regulate the industry, which has been hit by a spate of accidents. Wang Xiaoqi, head of the insurance management bureau at the Coal Industry Ministry, said yesterday that a new regulation would compel all licensed mines to insure workers. The rule would come into effect in July and increase compensation for families of every victim of a fatal accident to 50,000 yuan (about HK$46,700), more than 20 times the current level. Victims are currently protected by the 1953 labour insurance ordinance. But Mr Wang said a separate system had been adapted in line with the development and salary level of the coal industry. More than 3,000 miners are killed each year.