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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 May 21 - 27  > Excessively long overtime work has increased risks of karoshi in the last four years
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2008 May 21 - 27 [LABOR]

Excessively long overtime work has increased risks of karoshi in the last four years

May 27, 2008
A survey shows that the number of Tokyo’s firms where workers are facing greater risks of karoshi (death from overwork) due to excessively long working hours has doubled in the past four years.

In July, 2007, the Tokyo Metropolitan Labor Bureau conducted a health management survey of offices that are headquartered in Tokyo and employ more than 300 workers.

Of the 1,367 companies that responded to questions, 63.1 percent said that excessively long hours of overtime work persisted and that the number of overtime exceeds 100 hours a month, or 80 or more on average over 2-6 months. Compared to the previous survey in 2002, the rate increased 2.5 fold.

Companies that expressed concerns that workers may develop brain or heart diseases due to excessively heavy workloads accounted for 50.2 percent. Companies worrying that workers may develop mental diseases accounted for 53.3 percent, an increase of 10 percentage points from the previous survey.

Companies where workers developed mental diseases during the past three years were 55.5 percent. If the number of companies where workers may have developed mental disorder are added, the rate reached 77.7 percent.

Meanwhile, only 50.5 percent of the companies that responded to the survey provided workers working long hours with opportunities to interview medical doctors as required by the Industrial Safety and Health Law.
- Akahata, May 27, 2008
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