Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

In Focus: Radiation Protection at Works Relating to TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident

Press release

7 August, 2014
Inspection Division
Labour Standards Department
Fukushima Prefectural Labour Bureau

Results of Supervision/Instructions to Employers of Decontamination Works
(January - June 2014)

Labor Standards Inspection Offices under the jurisdiction of the Fukushima Prefectural Labour Bureau (Director: Mutsuo Hikichi) have been conducting intensive supervision of employers of decontamination works for the purpose of ensuring working conditions as well as industrial safety and the health of decontamination workers.

The results of the supervision/instructions from January to the end of June 2014 were compiled as below.

  • Labour Standards Inspection Offices within the prefecture implemented supervision and instructions to 313 employers.
  • Among them, some sorts of violations of labour standards laws and regulations (the Labour Standards Act and the Industrial Safety and Health Act) were found for 186 employers (violation ratio 59.4%). Labour Standards Inspection Offices issued written recommendations for correction and provided instructions for correction to them.
  • The number of violation cases was 335, among which:
    • 160 were violations relating to working conditions, such as those in connection with the payment of premium wages, clear indication of working conditions and preparation of wage ledgers, and
    • 175 were violations relating to industrial safety and health, such as those in connection with preliminary survey, dose measurement and use of protective equipment.
  • In particular, the violation rate increased in relation to dose measurement (from 2.7% in the previous term (Jul. to Dec. 2013) to 8.0% in this term).

The Fukushima Prefectural Labour Bureau will continue to strictly implement supervision and instructions to employers engaged in decontamination works and will endeavor to ensure industrial safety and health and the statutory working conditions of decontamination workers by making requests to relevant entities to properly control workers’ doses and thoroughly comply with related laws and regulations.


1. Cases of violation (January to June 2014)

< Relating to working conditions >

  • Employers failed to clearly indicate whether a fixed-term employment contract can be renewed in a written notice of working conditions issued upon concluding an employment contract (Article 15 of the Labour Standards Act);
  • Employers failed to include hours required for the measurement of internal exposure necessary for engaging in decontamination works in the total working hours and failed to pay wages for such hours (Article 24 of said Act);
  • Employers failed to include the decontamination allowance in the base calculation of the premium wage for overtime working, and the amount of the premium wage paid was lower than the amount that was calculated by the method provided for in the Labour Standards Act (Article 37 of said Act);
  • Employers failed to state working hours in a wage ledger, which is one of the items to be stated under the Labour Standards Act (Article 108 of said Act).

< Relating to industrial safety and health >

  • With regard to methods of measuring external exposure doses due to decontamination works,
    • workers whose total external exposure doses at workplaces are considered to be average values were selected to wear dosimeters and their measurement results are to be deemed as the external exposure doses of all workers at relevant workplaces; however, those workers wearing dosimeters left their workplaces and their exposure doses were not measured accurately;
    • workers are supposed to wear dosimeters on their chest or abdomen, but they put the dosimeters in their pants pockets (both cases in violation of Article 5 of the Ionizing Radiation Ordinance for Decontamination).
  • When using heavy machinery to excavate soil to which radioactive material was attached, workers were wearing surgical masks(*), not dust masks (Article 16 of said Ordinance);
    * A mask for general use ordinarily used by a cold victim or a hay fever sufferer
  • Workers without necessary qualification were operating mobile cranes (Article 68 of the Ordinance on Safety of Cranes and Similar Equipment).

2. Cooperation with the Fukushima Office for Environmental Restoration

The Fukushima Prefectural Labour Bureau has provided the Fukushima Office for Environmental Restoration with information on any non-payment of special duty allowance (decontamination allowance) since November 2012. Twenty-one pieces of such information have been provided so far (there was no information provision during the period between January and June 2014).