The story is becoming all too familiar: another tragic accident with scores of victims. But events such as this week's disaster in Inner Mongolia do not necessarily reflect the level of safety on the mainland, observers say. Two experts who monitor mainland occupational health and safety said despite recent high-profile accidents, conditions had not worsened and that in some ways they had improved. 'We notice [accident reports] more, and it could be a function of better reporting,' said Alan Schnur, team leader of the World Health Organisation communicable diseases centre in Beijing. However, he said it was hard to be certain without statistics being made available. China's safety conditions still lagged behind those of developed countries, according to Tom Vanden Bossche, co-ordinating director of the International SOS Clinic in Beijing. Procedures in place for safety checks were not always adhered to, he said, despite China aiming to measure up to international standards. However, the mainland had made progress, he said. A Western diplomat who saw the summer flood damage and keeps a close watch on safety issues said: 'It's a huge problem - the carnage that goes on. 'But there are folks out there who want to do the right thing, and one way is to get the media involved.' Sources agreed that after a media report, people responsible for accidents improve their performance or face the wrath of central government officials. A representative of the Ministry of Health said she did not have a tally of recent accidents and could not comment on the recent news reports. Over the past year, mainland media have not been shy about publishing the details of two plane crashes - one Air China and one China Northern - plus a series of coal mine accidents, other workplace mishaps and food poisoning outbreaks.