• United States



by Dave Gradijan

Extreme Fatigue Can Cause Employee Deaths

Sep 06, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Approximately 600,000 Chinese die each year as a result of exhaustion caused by overwork, an article on ITWorld Canada reports. Other studies put that number as high as 1 million.

According to the article, it’s difficult to get accurate figures on overworked employees because it’s not technically a disease. However, as the author, Joaquim P. Menezes, points out, extreme fatigue can wear away at a person’s immune system. The cause of death won’t be recorded as exhaustion, but as something else.

Menezes illustrates a recent example in China, where Hu Xinyu, a software engineer with Huawei Technologies, died in May. His death was the result of extreme fatigue caused by overwork. However, hospital reports list the cause of death as bacterial encephalitis.

The article reports that Hu Xinyu was an athlete and sports enthusiast before he joined the major telecom company in China’s Guangdong province. After countless hours of overtime and succumbing to extreme job pressure, his weakened condition led to his infection.

His death on May 28 triggered a public outcry because this scenario is all too common in China, ITWorld Canada reports. Xinyu represents millions of workers worldwide trapped by this “culture” of overwork.

The article states that a few days after Xinyu’s death, a Huawei spokesman said the company was saddened by the news, adding that no employee should work later than 10 p.m. without permission and that no one was allowed to stay inside the workplace overnight.

Compiled by Paul Kerstein

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