Saturday 12 July 2008

Japan rules Toyota engineer did die of overwork (JP)

The Japanese labor bureau has ruled that a top Toyota engineer's death back in 2006 was in the line of duty, agreeing with the claim that he died directly from overwork. The ruling will let his family collect employee benefits.

The 45-year-old man was the head engineer in the development of the Toyota Camry Hybrid. The employee, whose name was withheld at his family's request, averaged more than 80 hours of overtime each month in the two months, preceding his death in January 2006. He passed away of ischemic heart disease in the midst of preparing a vehicle for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Death from overwork is common in Japan, so much so that there is a specific term for it in Japanese: karoshi, and even a karoshi hotline and website devoted to the issue.

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