(l'articolo originale ed il servizio del TGcom)
Working conditions taking toll on traffic police
By Zheng Caixiong
Updated: 2007-08-07 07:04
GUANGZHOU: Traffic police in this southern city are being struck down by a host of vocational diseases, recent research has found.
According to the Guangzhou Hospital of Vocational Disease Control and Prevention, more than 90 percent of the traffic police in the Guangdong capital who underwent a checkup last month, were found to have nose or throat infections.
In addition, the incidence of lung, heart and respiratory tract diseases and arthritis was higher among traffic police than the public as a whole, the figures showed.
Liu Yimin, the hospital's vice-president, said vehicle emissions and excessive heat were the major contributors to the conditions.
"Traffic police have to work in a polluted environment for many hours a day, so their health is bound to be affected," Liu was quoted as saying by the Guangzhou-based Information Times.
Guangzhou, which approves some 150,000 new vehicle licenses every year, has more than 3,000 traffic police and 1,000 traffic coordinators.
To prevent the health of the city's police from worsening, local vocational disease experts have proposed several protective measures.
One of them is for the traffic police department to introduce more advanced equipment and technologies to improve the working environment and conditions.
For example, the traditional role of the police officer directing traffic from the road should be phased out and replaced with regular patrols. In addition, air-conditioning systems should be installed in all traffic kiosks, the experts said.
Traffic police should also be allowed to retire early or change posts after a certain number of years' service.
The police department should also provide regular health checks for its officers and maintain comprehensive health records, the experts said.
They also recommended officers be given access to psychological counseling to help them cope with the stresses of their work.
A senior official from the Guangzhou bureau of public security said every effort would be taken to improve social welfare and working conditions.
Local people have also expressed their sympathy for city's traffic police and coordinators.
Chen Wenhong, a white-collar worker, said traffic police in Guangzhou had to put up with poor working conditions.
"The city is struck by heat waves, torrential rain and other bad weather for many months of the year," he said.
(China Daily 08/07/2007 page4)