Overwork kills 600,000 Chinese

Updated: 2006-06-30 09:32
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With continued economic development, Chinese people's working hours have become longer and longer, and death from overwork has also increased sharply. It is estimated that overwork kills as many as 600,000 every year.

Global Times reported that China has become one of the countries with the longest working hours in the world. China's average hours at work have surpassed that of Japan and South Korea. As overtime becomes "popular", stories of young people dying in the office have become quite common. Some white collars receive high pays but have to work under tremendous pressure in the daytime and accompany clients in the evenings, which lead to an irregular pace of life. However, facing the corporate system of either promotion or elimination, they often work overtime "on their own initiative".

Owing to the fierce competition in the job market, many people choose to work overtime for fear of losing their jobs. Although the Labor Law prescribes that working hours should be eight hours a day, overwork has become China's job market culture, and excessive overtime is the primary cause of death from overwork.

Many enterprises only focus on quick profits without realizing that the work force is essential to the company's development. Overtime has become a tally of bosses, and such a way of sacrificing the staff's health aggravates the phenomenon of death from overwork.

Practitioners of industries with heavy mental stress are highly vulnerable to death from overwork. Media workers, scientific researchers and senior management staff of enterprises report the highest rate of death from overwork. More and more Chinese people are confronted with the threat of death from overwork.