A 45-year-old police officer in the Huidong county of Guangdong province died of cardiac arrest on August 1 after working for nearly 24 hours straight, People’s Daily reports.
Zhou Zhidong and three other officers at the Huangbu Police Station had dealt with over 10 cases and five suspects from 8:30 a.m. on July 31 to 5:00 a.m. the next day.
At around 8:30 a.m. on August 1, Zhou reportedly went to his dorm to take a nap. After he failed to show up for lunch and dinner, his colleagues discovered him in a coma. He was sent to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Chinese consulting service website iheima last year reported that China had overtaken Japan to become the country with the highest number of deaths caused by overwork, while China Youth Daily previously said that around 600,000 people in the country die every year due to “work exhaustion”.
According to a report from 2011, government statistics also showed that long working hours became the number one culprit to blame for deaths of policemen in the country, with nearly half of police deaths over the previous five years caused by overwork.
In 2010, a police officer who died of overwork at the age of 24 made nationwide headlines.
Last year, family members blamed work exhaustion for the death of a 33-year-old Dongguan man who’d worked a full month with no days off plus nearly 200 hours of overtime.