Mexican workers, prone to occupational diseases

Most labor laws around the world stipulate that a person may work 40 hours per week at the most, yet Mexico establishes a 48-hour week
Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
10/02/2018
11:24
Newsroom
Mexico City
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Mexicans have the most average annual working hours amounting over 2,246 hours per year, ranking first within the list of average annual labor hours in countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Long labor schemes organized by bosses along with the few constraints by Mexican authorities are the main reasons why Mexicans spend so much time working, according to Rodolfo Nava Hernández, Health at Work Coordinator at the Faculty of Medicine (FM) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Most labor laws around the world stipulate that a person may work 40 hours per week at the most, yet Mexico establishes a 48-hour week.

The Federal Labor Law of Mexico sets a maximum of 48 hours per week as the number of hours a laborer can work without going overtime, a work schedule that may lead to a series of organic, psychological, and even social affectations, warns Rodolfo Nava Hernández.

Both occupational and work-related diseases lead to increased cortisol levels, a weakened immune system, a series of digestive problems, high blood pressure levels, irritability, palpitations, fatigue, headaches, appetite problems, sleep disorders, and even infertility.

"In fact, the Japanese even created the word 'karoshi' which translates to 'death by overwork' due to their intense work culture. For instance, it is estimated that 2,300 Japanese died by overwork in 2015.”

Unfortunately, and despite the 48-hour week in Mexico, our country does not recognize as work-related diseases those caused by stress from overwork, setting aside all the medical research on the matter.

sg

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