New Measures to Protect Workers from Heat Stress in China

- By:

Courtesy of SGS

Work system to control heat exposure

It is stipulated in the Measures that working time under high temperature shall be controlled by employers, unless exceptional cases of damaging life & property security and public interest exist.

When the temperature reaches 40°C, outdoor work shall cease. When it stands at 37°C to 40°C, outdoor work shall not exceed more than 5 hours. Whereas at 35°C to 37°C, shifts shall be arranged so that continuous exposure to high temperature is avoided, overtime is prohibited for outdoor workers when temperatures exceed 35°C.

Before the onset of high temperatures, employers shall arrange a health examination for workers who are likely to be exposed to working in these conditions. Workers who have heart, lung and brain vessels disease, tuberculosis, central nervous system diseases and whose state of health is not suitable for high temperature operation, should be allocated to other duties. Employers should bear the cost of this health examination.

Specific conditions for enterprises

The Measures are applicable to enterprises, utility companies, and entrepreneurs who arrange for work in high temperature operations.

If workers cease working due to high temperature, enterprises shall not deduct their wages. Employers should pay a high temperature allowance to workers engaged in high temperature operation, and the allowance should be included in the total wages. The standard of the allowance is worked out by the Provincial human resources social security office. A table of the allowances is provided within the SGS news bulletin (

Employers shall provide workers with enough beverages reaching hygiene standards and any necessary medicine. However, these beverages do not offset the high temperature allowance.

Workers who suffer from heatstroke due to high temperature exposure diagnosed as an occupational disease are covered by work injury insurance.

According to the policy of the responsible government departments, enterprises which put workers’ health at risk, shall be liable to legal sanctions. Extreme cases would be classed as criminal actions and enterprises will be prosecuted and are liable to criminal charges, like a fine or imprisonment.

SGS Social Responsibility Services

SGS assists clients in developing and executing social compliance programs ( on a sustainable basis against the violation of workers’ rights. The services cover social responsibility issues including business integrity, social, environmental, health and safety and encompass various organizations, products, services and supply chains.

For more information, please contact the SGS experts.

Contact details:

SGS Consumer Testing Services

Cookie Li

Business Development Officer

Social Responsibility Solution / Factory Audit

SGS Bldg, No. 4, Jianghao Industrial Park,

No. 430, Jihua Road, Bantian, Longgang District, Shenzhen, China

t: +86 (0)755-2532 8205



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