Watson Electric Machinery is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dechang Electric Machinery Industry Manufacturing Co., Ltd., a Hong Kong-funded enterprise, which produces and operates micro motors and their parts. New Beijing News reporter Han Qinke
Out of Xiaobeimen, Nanfang Hospital of Guangzhou Southern Medical University (hereinafter referred to as Nanfang Hospital), through a street with small stalls on both sides, Wu Zhiming came downstairs to rent.
Two months ago, the couple had just moved to a single room less than 18 square meters. The rent was about 1,000 yuan a month, about five minuteswalk from the Southern Hospital.
Living next to the hospital is for the convenience of seeing a doctor. In the last two months, Wu Zhiming needed a routine examination including blood test, lung CT and bone marrow puncture once a month due to poor performance of the indicators.
He was diagnosed with leukemia in late 2017 and underwent bone marrow transplantation in April 2018. He has been hospitalized nearly 70 times since he was transferred to Southern Hospital for more than a year.
The room was crowded with a 1.5-meter-wide double bed, a wardrobe, two high and low tables, three plastic chairs, air purifiers, disinfection cupboards, purple lights and boxes of disinfection water and masks. Disinfection products are recommended by doctors. The doctor also advised Wu Zhiming to live in a better environment, but he said that conditions were not allowed and he could only disinfect his room as much as possible.
Wu Zhiming, who is about to celebrate his 35th birthday, has a dark skin and a high hairline. When he does not go to the hospital, he lies in bed wearing a mask and brushes his mobile phone or stays in a daze for a long time. His wife, Wang Xiumei (a pseudonym), said that chemotherapy had a great impact on his skin color and quantity.
In addition to Wu Zhiming, Zou Xiuhua, Wang Shengxuan, Xie Fengping and Yue Fanghua also suffered from leukemia among workers who had worked in Shenzhen Huasheng Electric Machinery (Guangdong) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Huasheng Electric Machinery). The diagnosis and Identification Committee of occupational diseases in Guangdong Province identified that all the workers suffered from occupational tumors (benzene-induced leukemia).
Watson Electric has attracted public attention after five people were identified as occupational leukemia in five years. Several patients also mentioned the rush and pressure of years of occupational disease rights protection. They are embarrassed by the cumbersome procedures in the diagnosis, identification and identification of occupational diseases, the difficult process of obtaining evidence, the unsustainable follow-up guarantee and the lack of cooperation of enterprises.
Wu Zhiming came to Shenzhen in 2006 from Fuzhou, Jiangxi Province, where he worked for a short time in two enterprises.
In 2008, after two rounds of interviews, he joined Watson Electric and worked in the R&D center. A few months later, Wu Zhiming was transferred to the production workshop as a technician, mainly engaged in equipment maintenance, machine debugging and other work, responsible for the treatment of equipment imprints left by the use of glue and chemical agents, as well as the use of glue to fix equipment.
Wu Zhiming told reporters that he would often contact Tiannashui, xylene and other preparations, which contain benzene.
In 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) determined that benzene can cause cancer, especially leukemia, and that extremely small amounts of benzene can cause harm. Benzene should not be present in safe environments.
A doctor in charge of the Baoan Occupational Disease Prevention and Control Institute (hereinafter referred to as the Baoan Occupational Disease Prevention and Control Institute) said that benzene may cause leukemia in sensitive people. Illness or health, this is the relationship between 0 and 1.
Wu said the company provided hats, white anti-static jackets and shoes to workers in his workshop. They change clothes every two or three days because they often rub oil on equipment or spill chemicals for cleaning at work.
Another sick woman, Zou Xiuhuas wife, told reporters that, as a worker in the same factory, she had gone to the stamping workshop to find Zou Xiuhua during dinner. At that time, she saw that his clothes and shoes were covered with oil, and almost one step would leave a footprint on the ground. It smells terribly bad.
Zou Xiuhua himself also mentioned that the factory will have several pairs of cotton gloves every week, but not enough. The gloves will soon be soaked in the process of operation, basically equivalent to bare-handed contact with benzene-containing preparations.
Wu Zhiming recalled that the company had given some anti-static gloves, but they did not protect against static electricity and would affect normal activities, so he and his colleagues basically worked bare-handed. Over time, the hands became dry and rough due to exposure to Tiannashui and other preparations. In his words, it was white and wrinkled, just like the old mans hand.
In an interview with Beijing Youth Daily and Red Star News, Xie Fengping and Yue Fanghuas family said that they had told their families that they would be exposed to chemical agents without knowing the harm in the production process and lacked effective protection.
Wu Zhiming told reporters that because his workshop is sealed and tastes great, employees often feel dizzy and nauseous, and even some people suddenly faint when they are working. Because of the large turnover of personnel, he has become a senior employee in his workshop after nine yearswork.
Standing type work, often overtime, workshop environment is not good, Wu Zhiming said he worked very hard. But thinking that he was the only one at home and had two children, he still wanted to wait for better conditions to change jobs. If it hadnt been so stressful, I would have left early.
According to the companys regulations, overtime on working days is 1.5 times the salary, and rest days are twice as much. When working more overtime, Wu Zhiming works more than 11 hours a day, and at most 13 hours a day. Apart from his expenses in Shenzhen, he transfers tens of thousands to tens of thousands of dollars a month to his family.
Wife Wang Xiumei said that her husband has been working very hard. When she gave birth to her first child in 2012, Wu Zhiming did not return home. In 2014, she gave birth to a second child. Wu Zhiming took more than 20 days off to go home. Ive been on the phone since I got home to help with all kinds of problems. Their little daughter did not know her father for a time because she went home less.
Unexpectedly, Wu Zhiming fell ill before trying to make the family better. In October 2017, he was diagnosed with leukemia.
I want a statement.
Since Wu Zhiming was diagnosed with leukemia, the life of his family has changed dramatically. Wang Xiumei laid down her two children in her hometown and came to Guangzhou to take care of her sick husband. After the bone marrow transplantation, Wu Zhiming was once too weak to walk and could only sit in a wheelchair to and from his home and hospital every day. His parents, over sixty, had to go to Guangzhou to cook and push wheelchairs for their son.
Wang Xiumei said that after she got sick, she spent money like running water. She could not remember which item cost how much. Including treatment fees, nutrition fees, rent and other expenses, the total cost has exceeded 600,000 yuan. Doctors said to them that this is to follow a lifetime of wealth disease, we must be prepared.
I have taken a kind of medicine to treat pulmonary infection. The size of soybean granules is 10 tablets in a box. It costs 3,800 yuan. At most, I take 4 tablets a day, and I eat 10 boxes. Wu Zhiming said.
Wu Zhiming thought that his illness might be related to the chemicals used in the workshop.
In December 2017, Wu Zhiming received the notification card of suspected occupational diseases from Shenzhen Occupational Disease Prevention and Control Hospital, and submitted the occupational disease diagnosis materials to Guangdong Occupational Disease Prevention and Control Hospital (hereinafter referred to as Guangdong Vocational Defense Hospital).
Wu Zhiming said that he had gone to Watson Electric Co. during the interval of chemotherapy to ask the company to provide the occupational health examination results needed for occupational disease diagnosis and the data of occupational hazard factors testing and evaluation in the workplace over the years, and to pay his medical expenses according to the regulations. However, the other party refused to provide the relevant materials and refused to pay the treatment fee without specifying what fees were included in the regulations. I want to say that I want the company to shoulder its responsibilities.
According to the provisions of the Occupational Disease Prevention and Control Law, the expenses of suspected occupational disease patients during the period of diagnosis and medical observation shall be borne by the employer.
Before the bone marrow transplantation in the southern hospital, the doctor advised that a deposit of 300,000 yuan should be paid in advance. Wang Xiumei and the doctor explained for a long time that the doctor finally agreed to pay 200,000 yuan first and then make up the rest. Wang Xiumei told reporters that after confirming this situation, Watson Electric agreed to provide Wu Zhiming with a loan of 20,000 yuan with a repayment period of one year.
Wu Zhiming said that after communication and coordination among street offices, safety supervision departments and health supervision departments, he has received three loans totalling 120,000 yuan from Watson Electric Machinery since his illness.
According to the information disclosure Reply of Baoan District Safety Supervision Bureau, from 2008 to 2014, Watson Electric Machinery did not carry out occupational hazards detection; in 2015, the company passed the occupational health technical service agencies for testing; in 2016-2017, the company has carried out regular testing in accordance with the regulations.
Zou Xiuhua has had similar experiences. When they asked the Shajing Health Supervision to disclose the data of occupational disease risk factors testing of Watson Electric Machine, they got the noise detection report, not the results of chemical hazard factors testing.
On May 11, the Shenzhen Baoan District Health Bureau (hereinafter referred to as Baoan District Health Bureau) issued a circular that the district occupational health supervision department will regularly carry out law enforcement inspections on the company (Watson Electric Machinery) and request it to issue an occupational health inspection and evaluation report. In February and July 2015, the company was fined a total of 55,000 yuan for failing to carry out occupational health checks and establish an occupational health system in accordance with the regulations. In May 2017, the company was fined 50,000 yuan for failing to carry out occupational health checks in accordance with the regulations.
The day before the announcement, Wu Zhiming had just received the final identification of his leukemia from the Guangdong Occupational Disease Diagnosis and Identification Commission, which concluded that he had occupational tumors (benzene-induced leukemia).
On May 17, Wu Zhiming received a decision on industrial injury from Shenzhen Human Resources and Social Security Bureau. The result was industrial injury.
Both Wu Zhiming and Zou Xiuhua mentioned that they met Watson Electrics staff only after repeated communication and coordination between relevant departments. Yue Fanghuas husband, Lin Fusheng, told Red Star News that in 2016, several workers with leukemia had sought help from a local television station in Shenzhen. After repeated rights protection, Watson Electric only solved the treatment cost of one of its employees. The couple had to choose a lawsuit, and in 2018 they received the factorys civil compensation through the lawsuit. The Peoples Court of Baoan District of Shenzhen has ruled that Watson Motor will pay the plaintiff Yue Fanghuas self-paid medical expenses of 12.8 million yuan before October 2017.
Zou Xiuhua also obtained compensation for the related expenses of Watson Electric Machinery through legal means, amounting to about 560,000 yuan.
Xinjing News reporter learned from Xie Fengpings attorneys office that at the end of 2018, the Shenzhen Intermediate Peoples Court finally decided to support Xie Fengpings claim for civil compensation, and sentenced Watson Electric to pay Xie Fengping more than 500,000 yuan in compensation. In Xie Fengpings case, Watson Electric paid more than 200,000 yuan, including salary, medical fee and nursing fee.
After completing the occupational disease appraisal, Zou Xiuhua once suggested that Wu Zhiming seek the help of a lawyer. Wu Zhiming also thinks the proposal is reasonable, We dont understand the law.
Liao Guoshun, an employee of Watson Electric Machinery, died of leukemia in August 2018. Watson Electric Company has not submitted to Guangdong Vocational Defense Institute the results of occupational hazards testing in the workplace due to its objection to the labor relationship with Liao Guoshun. Liao Guoshuns family sued Watson Electric to court. On May 17 this year, Liao Guoshuns family members received a court judgment. The court found that Liao Guoshun and Watson Electric had a labor contract relationship. Next, Liao Guoshuns family members will apply for occupational disease identification.
On May 13, the Guangdong Provincial Vocational Defense Institute confirmed to the Beijing News that they had received many applications for occupational disease diagnosis from Watson Electric Machinery Workers, the specific number of which was not easy to disclose.
According to the Bulletin of Baoan District Health Bureau, there were 5 cases of leukemia in Watson Electric Machinery, 3 males and 2 females. Five patients were distributed in five different workshops, belonging to different types of work, with a working life of 2-16 years. Five of them have completed the diagnosis and identification of occupational diseases. All of them were occupational tumors (benzene-induced leukemia).
Even if the final identification of occupational diseases is completed, the process of safeguarding workersrights has not been completed, and there are still some links such as identification of industrial injury and claim for compensation. Apart from some rapid progress, it takes about three years to complete the whole process on average, which is a challenge to the health and psychology of the sick workers. Some died in the process of diagnosis and identification. Xin Junhui, a lawyer who has represented many occupational disease cases in Shenzhen, said.
Liao Guoshun, an employee of Watson Electric Machinery, died of leukemia in August 2018.
Business and Government Voice
Watson Electric Machinery is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dechang Electric Machinery Industry Manufacturing Co., Ltd., a Hong Kong-funded enterprise, which produces and operates micro motors and their parts.
Reporters of the Beijing News have contacted Watson Motor for many times to interview. On May 16, Watson Electric made a written reply to the Beijing News reporter. According to the reply, the company has recruited 270,000 employees in the past 10 years and now has 25,000 employees in Shenzhen. The company will regularly review the working environment of the factory to ensure that all preventive and control measures are implemented and meet the requirements of relevant laws and regulations. Noise, air quality and storage of dangerous goods in the working environment are also monitored and tested by third-party experts to ensure compliance.
According to Chinas relevant regulations, regular physical examinations are required when employees are exposed to specific occupational health hazards. The company arranges medical examinations for employees every year before they are hired, during their employment period and before they leave their jobs. In addition, the company also has ongoing improvement projects, such as: ventilation system, noise suppression, production equipment commissioning and so on.
Reporters of the Beijing News failed to enter the factory area and witnessed the production environment of the workshop. More than a dozen employees interviewed randomly by reporters said that at present, the company has personal protective devices such as masks, gloves and earplugs for employees. Only when the equipment is well worn, can they enter the workplace and have regular physical examinations. According to different positions, protective devices and physical examination items are different. Protection and training are available, so we should also safeguard our own safety. An employee who has been in office for less than a year said.
A Watson Electric Engineer showed reporters what he had photographed last week when monitors came to monitor vehicles with the words Occupational Hazard Monitoring on their bodies parked in the factory area.
Wu Zhiming does not approve of the improvement measures taken by enterprises. Why are we improving now? What have we done earlier?
Workplace hazard detection is generally post-test, there is a possibility of non-representative. According to a doctor in charge of the Baoan Occupational Disease Prevention and Control Institute, short sampling time is 15 minutes and long sampling time is 2-8 hours. Detection time and duration, sampling point, sensitivity of detection equipment and many factors may influence the results. The main thing is to strengthen the enterprises own management of occupational health and the day-to-day supervision of the regulatory agencies.
After 5 cases of occupational leukemia were exposed, the health supervision department went to the scene for examination. A staff member of Shajing Street Health Supervision Bureau said that they often went to Watson Electric Machinery for inspection. The person also disclosed that thousands of enterprises need to be supervised in Shajing Street and the adjacent Xinqiao Street.
In response to a reporter, a staff member of Baoan District Health Bureau said, The supervision department is responsible for the workers and protects them. He repeatedly mentioned that occupational health supervision is carried out in accordance with the law, but the supervision work can not only rely on safety production and health supervision departments, but also need the cooperation of social security, enterprise trade unions and other departments.
According to a circular issued by Baoan District Health Bureau on May 11, four sick workers have completed work-related injury identification and social insurance compensation according to law. Among them, three workers who have undergone bone marrow transplantation have received corresponding medical compensation from Watson Electric Machinery Company, and one worker who is not suitable for bone marrow transplantation has been paid by the company. At the same time, the company also provided 4 sick workers with assistance ranging from 8855 yuan to 41200 yuan through the trade union. In addition, a sick worker has just come out with the final result of occupational disease appraisal, and related work-related injury appraisal, social security compensation and enterprise medical expenses compensation are being implemented in accordance with the procedures.
At present, Watson Electric has implemented such systems and measures as organizing annual occupational health check-ups, regularly testing occupational hazards in the workplace, establishing an approval system for the use of chemicals, chemical composition analysis, non-use of benzene chemicals, and hazard assessment of personal protective appliances for employees.
Shenzhen Occupational Disease Prevention and Control Hospital has suggested that benzene-related enterprises should strengthen the management of organic solvents, conduct comprehensive ventilation and local ventilation in the workplace, do a good job in personal protection and occupational health monitoring of benzene workers, and strengthen the training of personnel using benzene-containing solvents. Watson Electric did not respond to similar questions raised in interviews about the details of occupational health projects.
Predicament of prevention and treatment of occupational diseases
According to the Statistical Bulletin on the Development of Health Careers in 2017 issued by the National Health Commission last year, a total of 26 756 new cases of occupational diseases were reported in 2017. 1021 cases of occupational chemical poisoning, including 295 cases of acute and 726 cases of chronic occupational poisoning.
According to the data of the National Health Commission, by the end of 2018, more than 970,000 cases of occupational diseases had been reported nationwide, of which about 90% were occupational pneumoconiosis.
Professor Wu Likang, the chief public health expert of Baoan District, said that organic solvents (such as n-hexane, trichloroethylene, trichloromethane and triphenyl), dust and noise were the most common occupational hazards in Baoan District. Among them, occupational poisoning caused by n-hexane and trichloroethylene accounted for 51.7% and 30.6% of the occupational diseases respectively. These hazards are mainly distributed in hardware, electronic and electrical appliances, printing, gem processing, plastic toys and other industries.
Occupational disease prevention and control work is a systematic project involving close cooperation among multiple departments, but enterprises should be the main ones. Xia Zhaolin, a professor at the School of Public Health, Fudan University, who has been engaged in occupational health research for a long time, told the Beijing News that the internationally prevailing working system is employer responsibility, government supervision, industry management and labor union supervision. There is still room for improvement in this regard in China. He also admitted that at this stage, the occupational health administration and professional institutions have limited staff.
Xia Zhaolin believes that the construction of occupational health professional institutions and professional network and the allocation of related instruments and equipment should be further strengthened. Large enterprises can establish their own occupational disease prevention and control institutions or employ occupational health doctors, while small and medium-sized enterprises can employ or share occupational health nurses for occupational health-related work. Occupational health professionals employed by enterprises timely suggest that enterprises strengthen technological innovation and engineering protection, carry out workplace hazard monitoring and occupational health monitoring, and eliminate or reduce occupational hazard factors from the source.
An official of Baoan District Health Bureau also told reporters that more third-party testing institutions and occupational health experts are needed to participate in occupational health protection work. But this third-party market still needs to be nurtured.
As for how to improve the importance of occupational disease prevention and control in enterprises, Xia Zhaolin believes that it is necessary to pay attention to and strengthen basic work to strengthen the signing and management of labor contracts for front-line production workers, post occupational health education, and urge enterprises to pay industrial injury insurance. He suggested that industrial injury insurance could also be regulated by industry differential rate and floating rate. For enterprises with higher occupational hazards and higher incidence of industrial injury, the industrial injury insurance premium rate should be greatly increased in that year, in order to urge them to pay more attention to and invest in occupational disease prevention.
In addition to the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of occupational diseases, industrial injury insurance funds should also be paid to encourage enterprises to carry out engineering protection work for occupational disease prevention and control. He said. This will effectively reduce the cost of occupational disease diagnosis and treatment for rural to urban migrant workers, so as to avoid poverty caused by illness.
Chen Qiulin, deputy director of the Health Industry Development Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that occupational health should be protected by enterprises, especially the safety of workers in manufacturing enterprises. At the same time, the promotion of occupational health work in enterprises also depends on the construction of regional health system.
Chen Qiulin believes that both enterprises and local governments should set up the concept of health-first development and implement the concept of prevention into the project planning stage. In terms of security measures, besides basic medical insurance, the possibility of occupational insurance can also be further explored.
Wu Zhiming took off his mask and began to eat dinner on May 19 at 7 p.m. He ate a small bowl of rice and half of the fish with pepper stew and fried cabbage. Wang Xiumei said that in order to supplement Wu Zhimings nutrition, she would cook a meat dish, fish or ribs every meal.
After dinner, Wu Zhiming strolled slowly in the room. He needs to improve his immunity through proper exercise. He wants to get better quickly.
Source: Yang Yi_NBJ10647, Responsible Editor of Beijing Newspaper