Workers toil under a huge concrete slab being lowered by crane at a Tokyo Olympic venue site. (Video footage provided by source)

The death of another construction worker at a Tokyo Olympics venue has prompted an international labor union to seek a third party investigation, saying its earlier warning about perilous conditions has been largely ignored.

Workers themselves have said they hope the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) gets more involved in inspecting the “dangerous” construction sites for the Games.

The BWI released a report in May titled “The Dark Side of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics” that described a “culture of fear” among construction workers toiling at the various sites.

A BWI official said protecting the safety of laborers was indispensable for the success of the Olympics next year.

The May report was submitted to the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, the Tokyo metropolitan government and the Japan Sport Council (JSC). It detailed the harsh conditions faced by the laborers, including some who worked for 28 straight days in one month. Others were forced to work under huge slabs of concrete swinging from cranes.

The organizing committee and Tokyo metropolitan government interviewed officials of the main contractors of major construction sites.

Based on those interviews, a response was sent to BWI arguing, “It was inconceivable for workers to labor 28 straight days since Sundays are, in principle, days off.”

The response also said relevant laws were being obeyed to ensure safety.

However, BWI officials pointed out that no interviews were conducted with the actual laborers at each site, leading to a large gap between reality and what was contained in the report submitted to the BWI.

The BWI is calling for an independent third party to conduct an investigation into the situation.

When the BWI released its May report, it said two construction workers had died in connection with the Tokyo Olympics.

Touching upon the Aug. 8 death of another worker at an Olympic venue site in the Ariake district, a BWI official pointed to the possible effects of the heat that enveloped much of the nation at that time.

The union is seeking to hold meetings in the near future with the organizing committee and the other entities.

Workers at some of the sites said they hope the BWI’s actions will lead to safer conditions.

“Construction work has continued no matter how hard the wind is blowing or how heavy the rain,” one worker said. “Even a minor mistake might have led to a major accident.”

The man said he once asked his supervisor about continuing to build a concrete framework in the heavy rain since the weather would likely affect the strength of the building.

The supervisor only said the schedule meant there could be no stoppage in the construction, the worker said.

Another man in his 70s said he worked at heights without wearing a safety belt. He said he feared for his life as he worked on the exterior and interior of the athletes’ village and the sailing venue.

“Because of the need to rush through the work, safety is taking a back seat even though there is a need to implement safety measures to prevent workers from falling,” said an official with the National Federation of Construction Workers’ Unions.