First reported death in Tokyo 2020 Olympics site

24 July 2017 08:16


The BWI is extremely alarmed with the apparently first reported death, by suicide, in Tokyo 2020 Olympics National Stadium, touted as the centrepiece of the Summer Olympics. With the lawyer for the family of the deceased worker confirming that a case has been filed for workers' accident compensation, serious concerns have been raised on health and safety of all workers employed in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics infrastructure projects.

The unnamed male 23-year old construction worker who had gone missing on 2 March 2017 was found dead in April and the family attributed his death to “karoshi” based from The Japan Times news report. The Japanese government officially recognizes two types of "karoshi”, as deaths by overwork is known: cardiovascular illness linked to overwork, and suicide following mental stress related to work. Accordingly, the man had worked more than 200 hours overtime in the month before he committed suicide.

“This unfortunate tragic death of young construction worker is clearly an issue related to occupational health and safety in all Tokyo Olympics infrastructure projects”, said Ambet Yuson, BWI General Secretary.

Quoting from the same news report, the company, Taisei Corporation, “acknowledged letting him work beyond the limits set under a labour-management agreement concluded, based on Article 36 of the labour standards law. The accord allows the company to have employees work up to 45 hours overtime a month in principle and up to 80 hours in special cases”.

“Occupational accidents in Mega-Sporting Events can actually be identified and prevented as evidenced in London 2012 Olympics. This was made possible by direct involvement of trade unions in the identification, elimination and management of occupational health and safety hazards including stress and overwork”, added Yuson.

While extending condolences to the family of deceased construction worker, the BWI reiterated its offer to TOGOC to implement a joint Zero Accident campaign to avoid unfortunate case of this nature.

This is the second time that Taise Corporation has been marred with controversial issue; the first being that of importation and use of tropical plywood for concreting pillars from controversial sources in Sarawak, Malaysia.