Worker at No. 1 nuke plant died from overwork


The death last May of a man who had worked at the Fukushima No. 1 plant after the nuclear crisis erupted in March has been officially attributed to overwork, according to a lawyer representing the man’s family.

A labor standards inspection office in Yokohama determined Friday that Nobukatsu Osumi’s fatal heart attack at age 60 was caused by the excessive physical and mental burdens of having to work all night in protective gear, including a mask, lawyer Akio Ohashi said.

It is the first time the death of a worker involved in the nuclear crisis has been officially recognized as resulting from overwork, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

Osumi was dispatched by a subcontractor, a construction firm based in Shizuoka Prefecture, and started working at Fukushima No. 1 on May 13. On his first day on the job he engaged in piping and other work at a waste disposal facility at the complex, but complained of not feeling well the following morning. He was immediately taken to a hospital, where he died shortly afterward.