In Japan, 10% of male deaths are job-related. They even have a special word for it, karōshi, death by overwork. Yep, death by overwork.
Karōshi was invented in 1978 to refer to an increasing number of people suffering from fatal strokes and heart attacks attributed to overwork.
In an International Labour Organization article about karōshi, the following four typical cases of karōshi were mentioned:
- Mr. A worked at a major snack food processing company for as long as 110 hours a week (not a month) and died from a heart attack at the age of 34. His death was recognized as work-related by the Labour Standards Office.
- Mr. B, a bus driver, whose death was also recognized as work-related, worked 3,000 hours a year. He did not have a day off in the 15 years before he had a stroke at the age of 37.
- Mr. C worked in a large printing company in Tokyo for 4,320 hours a year including night work and died from a stroke at the age of 58.
- Ms. D, a 22-year-old nurse, died from a heart attack after 34 hours of continuous duty five times a month.