Tokyo Disneyland performer who developed disorder awarded work compensation

Kyodo News

Posted at Nov 22 2017 01:57 PM

CHIBA, Japan - A woman employed as a costumed performer at Tokyo Disneyland was awarded labor compensation after developing a disorder that caused acute pain in her arm, the park's operator said Wednesday.

Since February 2015, the 28-year-old contract worker has performed in parades wearing various characters costumes, each of which weighed around 10 kilograms, Oriental Land Co. said.

According to her labor union, past compensation has typically related to injuries during work and it is rare for labor authorities to acknowledge the link between work and such a disorder. The compensation was granted in August.

A company official said, "The labor authorities did not say excessive workload was involved, and we did not violate safety obligations."

From November to December last year, she performed in some 50 shows such as Christmas parades which lasted about 45 minutes each time. She was required to raise her arms high as part of the performances.

She began to feel something wrong with her neck, left arm and fingers in November. Two months later, when the pain had become so severe she could not sleep at night, she visited a clinic.

Being diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome that causes numbness and pain due to compressed nerve and blood vessels, she took leave from work. Although she is yet to fully recover, she is in discussions with the company to return to work with reduced workload.

"We take the matter sincerely and take full countermeasures," a company official said.