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Occup Med. 2002 Jul-Sep;17(3):391-408, iv.

Occupational health in South Korea.

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  • 1School of Public Health, Seoul National University, 28 Yeunkun-Dong, Chongno-Ku, Seoul 110-799, Korea.


The government-initiated Annual Workers Health Examination Program and the Industrial Accident Compensation Program both of which are delivered from outside the workplace mainly by a handful of service agents have remained the cornerstones of occupational health and safety (OHS) policy in South Korea since the 1960s. Initially, policies centered on the technical dimensions of OHS problems. This acultural approach is no longer efficient, and the scope of problems that can be dealt with is limited. The injury rate has gone down from 6 to less than 1 injury per 100 insured workers, but since the 1980s there has been no sign of improvement in the death rate from industrial accidents, and future improvement in the injury rate is not expected. As South Korea is facing major economic and social changes, review of current OHS policy is also underway. International collaborations and comparisons will surely add thoughtful perspectives to this discussion.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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