Karoshi – Occupational Sudden Death

Karoshi is a Japanese word which is literally translated as “death from overwork”. It generally refers to sudden deaths by stroke or heart attack caused by work-related stress.

In 2006 a 45-year-old Toyota employee died, apparently from working less than 20 hours overtime per week in the run up to launching a new product.

His death has now been classed as an industrial injury, meaning that his family can claim against his employers’ insurances.

60 hours per week is classed as a short week by many in the UK same day courier industry. While HGV drivers are limited by law to 48 hours work a week and any employed workers can insist on working a maximum of 48 hours per week with 5 weeks holiday per year, many courier owner-drivers and courier company owner-managers work in excess of 70 hours per week with few if any holidays.

For the working man, doing his best to provide for his family, is it not better to have a few more years to spend with the family, rather than a few extra quid each year and an early death? Life is apparently a journey, not a destination.

(Written by me, working at 1837 on a Saturday evening)

Posted under Courier Basics, Courier Business, Drivers' Hours, Employment

Posted by Alec at 6:37 pm, July 19, 2008

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