President Xi Jinping's recent call to solve the nation's "deep-rooted" workplace safety issues would seem to have been taken up with resolve in Jilin . In the wake of a series of accidents in the northern province that claimed 174 lives, dozens of officials and company executives have been disciplined or charged. The punishments - as well as State Council orders to governments at all levels and firms to carry out regular checks - send the right message. But given the mainland's poor record, there will not be a significant change unless there is a long and sustained campaign aimed at creating a safety-minded culture. A good start was made earlier this month with the council's adoption of recommendations of a report into the accidents, at the Jilin Baoyuanfeng poultry factory in Dehui on June 3 and the Babao coal mine in Baishan on March 29 and April 1. Human error was behind the tragedies. Miners had been ordered to work days after 36 colleagues had died in an explosion; a subsequent blast killed 17 more. But it was the factory blaze that raised the alarm. The 121 lives it took made it China's worst fire in a decade. Beijing's response has been forceful. Among the 35 prosecuted are provincial officials and company executives, while the 73 others disciplined include Jilin's deputy governor Gu Chunli and police chief Huang Guanchun. But such moves do not directly address safety, standards and enforcement. Official accident statistics are broad and last year showed 75,000 deaths. Independent sources say incidents are vastly underreported. Transparency helps, but even more important is ensuring everyone in the workplace is responsible for safety. Laws are meaningless without proper enforcement. Employees have to be allowed a voice in their own safety and trained. Safety equipment has to be installed and staff taught how to use it. Authorities have long been aware of these necessities, yet profits and growth are still being put ahead of them. Xi has recognised the need for change, but it will only come about with resolve and sustained effort.