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China Daily Website

Working to death should be prevented by law

Updated: 2012-03-09 19:48
By Quan Li (

A law to prevent the number of increasing deaths related to stress at work has been proposed by deputies to the National's People's Congress (NPC), Workers' Daily reported Friday.

Hu Xiaoyan, China's first migrant worker elected as a representative of the NPC, has suggested laws to prevent death related to occupational hazards during the NPC annual session.

According to a survey of 3,624 women migrant workers by the All China Federation of Trade Union, more than 60 percent of women work more than eight hours a day. About 41 percent of women only have one day off a week, while 251 have no time to rest at all.

The common reason for overworking is mainly because people cannot control their work time independently, said Pang Xiaoli, member of the National Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

"Some companies extend people's working time to reduce costs and employment," Pang said, "and workers have to accept excessive workloads to get recognized and promoted by their bosses, harming their health and even lives," she said.

In April 2011, a young woman's death sparked intense debate if working overtime threatened the health of employees, as her micro blog was full of complaints about working overtime, heavy workloads and her deteriorating health before she died.

Pan Jie, 25, died from acute meningitis after working six month's in the Shanghai office of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the world's leading accounting firms.