China urged to amend archaic heat law

August 6th, 2010 - 3:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Shaan Beijing, Aug 6 (IANS) Experts have called for an amendment to China’s archaic heat law to protect the rights of workers who toil in high temperatures, a media report said Friday.
The scorching heat has already claimed the lives of over 40 people in the country this year, China Daily reported.

The extreme weather has baked many regions since July, with the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Shandong and Shaanxi provinces and Chongqing municipality reporting the highest number of weather-related deaths.

In Ji’nan in Shandong province, eight workers have died from sunstroke in the past week. Most victims were street cleaners and migrant construction workers.

China’s exclusive national law on sunstroke prevention, which mainly stipulates ways to cool down high temperatures at some workplaces, was put into effect in 1960.

The archaic law, which has not been amended in five decades, does not stipulate days of extreme heat when workers can stay off duty.

“The law is like a dead letter. There are big loopholes in the legal protection of workers, especially those who toil outdoors,” Yang said.

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