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Record compensation claims accepted for work-related mental disorders

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A record number of compensation claims by sufferers of work-related metal disorders, including those caused by harassment, were approved in fiscal 2020, according to a survey by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

The number of workers’ compensation-accepted mental illness cases increased by 99 from the previous year to 608 in the year that ended in March, marking a rise for the second straight year, the survey showed Wednesday.

Of the total cases, 99 were attributed to so-called power harassment, or bullying by superiors, which was clearly defined as a cause of metal disorders in June 2020. Accidents and disasters were cited in 83 cases, followed by assaults and harassment by coworkers in 71 cases and changes in work quality and quantity in 58 cases.

By age group, 174 compensation claims by workers in their 40s were approved, while those in their 30s won 169 claims and those in their 20s 132 claims.

Many were either clerical staff, public health nurses, midwives, registered nurses or people working at nursing care facilities.

Among the approved cases for compensation, the combined number of suicides and attempted suicides came to 81, down from 88 a year before.

The survey also found that the number of compensation-approved heart and brain disorder cases fell by 22 to 194, thanks to work-style reforms promoted by the coronavirus pandemic. The total included 67 cases of death from overwork, down 19.

Many sufferers of those diseases were vehicle drivers and salespeople in their 40s and 50s, the survey showed.

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