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Japan: Tepco supplier exposed workers in Fukushima crisis

Date: 25 Jul 2012

Fukushima explosion

Nine workers for construction firm Build-Up were forced to under-report radiation exposure when they were dealing with the Fukushima nuclear plant crisis. A senior executive at the company order staff to attach lead plates to pocket dosimeters supplied by Tepco in order to keep the readings below government emergency safety limits.

The Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry has launched an investigation over whether the company broke industrial health and safety laws.

Takashi Wada, Build-Up President, was reported by the Japan Times as expressing regret over the incident and saying that the company was carrying out its own investigation.

The orders were reportedly motivated by the realisation that exposure levels would quickly exceed maximum levels and then the workers would no longer be allowed to work on the project. Apparently, some workers refused to use the lead screening and left the company.


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