Since mid-June, most parts of China have encountered continuous hot weather. The highest temperature has exceeded 40°C. Some media statistics have found that more than 60% of workers who suffer from heat stroke due to working in high temperatures are not compensated, and it is difficult for workers to defend their rights.

From August 12th to August 16th, the Central Meteorological Observatory continuously issued a high-temperature red warning.

In an interview, the chief forecaster of the Central Meteorological Observatory said that the high-temperature weather in the south would continue in the next two weeks, and the highest temperature in some areas can reach above 40°C.

In continuous high-temperature weather, many workers suffer heat stroke—especially those who work outdoors or whose premises are not ventilated. 

According to The Paper’s statistics, more than 78 cases of heat stroke have occurred in China, and the majority are engaged in high-intensity physical labor.

The statistics show that heat stroke is the most severe form of heat-related emergency, with a mortality rate of 70% to 80%.

Many labor disputes had occurred when workers who suffered heat-stroke claimed compensation. However, very few of them can protect their rights.

The journalists collected and analyzed 206 labor disputes caused by heat stroke between 2013 and 2022 on the Judgment Documents website. They found that most workers who fell ill or died from working in high temperatures failed to receive compensation.

In these cases, only 19% of workers were identified as having work-related injuries and could receive work-related injury compensation. The rest can only receive civil compensation as general personal injury cases.

According to the Regulations on Work Injury Insurance, their close relatives can receive at least three payments: a funeral allowance, pension for dependents, and a lump sum allowance for work-related deaths. But in the cases analyzed, most workers did not receive any compensation.

At the same time, the amount of compensation for workers may be significantly discounted, and more than 60% of workers need to bear the compensation responsibility themselves. Furthermore, 6.9% of cases need to take full responsibility because the workers could not prove the connection between their illness and work.

Only 21.4% of workers have established labor relations in the analyzed cases. 38.2% of the employers believed there was no employment relationship with their workers, so they were not obliged to pay compensation.

The unclear employment model, lack of establishment of labor relations, and not even knowing who the employer is, have made it difficult for workers to protect their rights.

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