Another Foxconn Employee Dies, After Working 34-Hours Straight

Illustration for article titled Another Foxconn Employee Dies, After Working 34-Hours Straight

Another death at Foxconn's Shenzhen factory, only this time it wasn't a suicide attempt, according to reports. Instead, the 28-year-old man (who'd only married his wife, above, three months ago) died from exhaustion.

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That's what his family is claiming anyway, as no official statement has yet been issued describing how he died. Apparently Yan Li was suffering from shortness of breath, and died in his rental house after a massive 34-hour-long shift. [Mingpao via NowNews via MIC Gadget]

DISCUSSION

norwoodismyhero
NorwoodIsMyHero

I can't believe there are people seriously saying "It was this guys' choice to work a 34 hour shift so don't blame Foxconn."

For argument's sake I'll buy the probably ludicrous notion that he did this voluntarily. It's still Foxconn's fault, and if you think otherwise you know jack shit about operations management at a factory.

A worker like this guy is supervised by someone who at all times has access to computers systems and timesheets that tell him exactly how long he's been working. At the beginning and end of shifts it's basic routine for line supervisers to review who's been on how long and how much longer they'll be on. This is basic management stuff, that I who have only taken a few courses in operations management and hates the subject know should be standard practice.

If Foxconn's supervisors failed to detect that this guy had worked more than a double shift it's a sign of gross negligence and substandard working conditions. Clearly worker productivity completely collapses at a point after 18-24 hours and any firm as large as Foxconn knows this to be the case.

The reality is that any number of supplier codes from Dell, HP, and Apple were grossly violated when this guy worked more than a double shift in all likelihood. I'd bet all of you Foxconn apologists my entire salary that he was not supposed to work that long, and that it was in violoation of SOP at Foxconn. The fact that this was missed and his line supervisor failed to send him home reveals either gross negligence on the part of those line supervisors, or blatant disregard for standards that Dell, Apple, and HP all send out to suppliers regularly. Sure, it's expected that these standards will be violated, but not in this gross of a manner, and I can assure that companies buying Foxconn's products are batshit insane mad at them right now for allowing this to happen.

In a factory setting it's not that hard to detect when a worker's been on longer than a double shift. The level of employee monitoring is too high and there are too many various automated computer systems that tag employees for Foxconn not to have known this guy had been on for so long. It's also 100% certain that this long of a shift violates codes directly from their suppliers and ethically is completely unacceptable.