Labor ministry investigators searched the Osaka head office of printing firm Sanyo-CYP Co. on Tuesday on suspicion it neglected its duty to take proper care of its workers' health, after 17 developed bile duct cancer, eight of whom died.

The investigators from the Osaka Labor Bureau of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare searched the office on suspicion the company violated the industrial safety and health law, which requires employers to ensure the safety and health of workers in workplaces.

The workers at Sanyo-CYP were exposed to chemicals in the process of washing printing machines.