While working hard is important to excel in your job, one should never push the limits too far by abusing the body.
Recently, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) based in Japan passed away after he spent a lot of months working overtime. Japan’s labor ministry confirmed that the death was due to “karoshi” or death from overwork.
In 2011, Joey Tocnang decided to work abroad so he can provide for the needs of his wife and daughter back in the Philippines. He arrived in the country to work for Gifu Perfecture, a casting company. His job was to cut steel and apply chemicals to molds. Tocnang was working under a ‘technical trainee’ agreement which meant he was only allowed to work there for 3 years and will go back to the Philippines after the program.
Unfortunately, he died in his apartment about 3 months before he completed the program.
An investigation was immediately conducted following his death and the Japanese labor ministry reported that Tocnang died of a heart attack which may have been triggered by stress and overwork. For the past few months, Tocnang was working for about 78.5 to 122.5 hours of overtime every month. He worked really hard and had very little time to relax or get adequate sleep.
One of his co-workers recalled how Tocnang went shopping for souveniers the day before he died. Tocnang intended to bring the gifts to his daughter. Some have concluded that he may have worked the extra hours so he can send and save more money for his family.
The Japanese labor ministry encouraged Tocnang’s wife to file for claims and compensation against the company that he worked for. Meanwhile, the labor ministry also ordered the company to give Tocnang’s family a lump sum payment of 3 million yen (approximately Php 1.4 million) and a survivor’s annuity of 2 million yen (approximately Php 900,000).