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High risk for skyscraper painters

2013-01-10 10:10

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High risk for skyscraper painters

Steel frame painters work high on a building in Jiaxing city, Zhejiang province Nov 29, 2012. [Photo/CFP]

It is not a job for the faint-hearted or those without a head for heights. The job of painting the top steel structures of skyscrapers with no scaffolding has to be one of the most dangerous jobs in China.

Chen Liang, a steel frame painter, can walk on a 20 centimeters wide and 18 meters high steel frame as easily as he walks on the ground. He chooses this work for freedom instead of safety. He said he is not afraid of death. He used to work in a factory, but didn't feel free. Being a steel frame painter offers him that freedom and he can ask for several days leave whenever he wants.

The young man looks older than his real age. "He was white and tender when he started to be a painter," said Chen's head Song Tonghe.

Song Tonghe, 41, has been a steel frame painter for more than 12 years. He divorced because of his risky work. He summarized his work in one word - dangerous. Song has witnessed two workers fall from the steel frames of buildings, and heard of a lot more similar tragedies.

"Men like Chen Liang can get about 30,000 yuan ($4,814) per year," he always tries to persuade others not be a painter before accepting an apprentice, "it is better to work in a factory, safe and sound."

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