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Loophole in work injury law causes outrage


08:56, November 02, 2012

JINAN, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- The death of construction worker Yin Guang'an in east China's Shandong Province has triggered public backlash as the case exposed a loophole in the country's work injury law.

Yin's funeral was held last weekend in his hometown of Weishan county. Five days earlier on Oct. 22, he suffered a stroke while at work. After thirty hours of emergency treatment, his family decided to take him off a respirator on the doctor's advice.

But before the respirator was taken off, a man from an employment agency, which was technically Yin's employer, asked the doctor to keep the 51-year-old alive with oxygen for 48 hours.

The family were perplexed.

"We had no idea why he did that. But after consultation with a lawyer, we realized that if my father died within 48 hours in hospital, it could be claimed as a workplace death, and the employment agency would have to compensate much more," said Yin's 23-year-old son Yin Jianhai.

According to China's Work-related Injury Insurance Rules, a worker has to die within 48 hours of falling sick or injured at work for it to be classed as a workplace death.

A similar case occurred on Oct. 21 when a man surnamed Yang in Jining city of Shandong died in hospital four days after he suffered a brain hemorrhage while working overtime. However, his family lost out due to the 48-hour clause. They have lodged a lawsuit to pursue compensation.

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