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'Tough brother', tougher issues [2011-07-28]

A recent online posting about a worker of a power company in Wuhan, Hubei province, jumping naked into a filthy water body to fix an electric cable has shaken the Internet. Netizens call the worker the "tough brother" and praise his dedication and commitment, says an article in Excerpts:

Liu Yueqing the "tough brother" has said that he didn't expect his action to raise a storm on the Internet. On the surface there are two reasons for his rising popularity: it is common for laborers to do such work and our society has a dearth of committed people like Liu.

But a deeper look into the incident will reveal more serious reasons.

Since "tough brother" is an ordinary worker, the power company didn't provide him with necessary protective clothing and gear. Photographs show that the water that he dived into is almost black and full of trash floating on the surface. People could feel sick just by standing near the stinking pool of filth, let alone diving naked into it and staying there for more than an hour.

It is mandatory to provide waterproof clothing to any worker who gets into such a water body to fix anything. The incident thus reflects the lack of protection of laborers' safety.

One does not have to be an expert to know that basic waterproof and anti-corrosion measures should be taken to protect cables that pass through a water body. If the company had taken such measures, Liu would not have been forced to dive into the pool of filth.

Therefore, it is important to ask who should be held responsible for the cable fault that caused power cuts in more than 2,000 households and over 2,000 commercial establishments. Liu has touched us with his dedication and commitment, but there is much more behind his gallantry.

The opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.