Overwork death recognized for worker at Fukushima plant

The death last May of a man who had engaged in work at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after the nuclear crisis erupted there in March was recognized Friday as caused by overwork, according to a lawyer representing the man’s bereaved family.

A local labor standards inspection office in Yokohama, acting on a workers’ compensation claim by the family of [a subcontract worker dispatched by a construction firm in Shizuoka Prefecture], who died of a heart attack at age 60, determined that his cardiac infarction was caused by excessive physical and mental burdens arising from working overnight wearing protective gear and mask, lawyer Akio Ohashi said.

There have been 35 cases of workers’ compensation claims in connection with the nuclear disaster, and three of them involve a worker’s death. Aside from [that worker’s] case, the two others involved workers who died due to tsunami waves on the day of the disaster.