Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA

Bupyeong gu, South Korea

Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA

Bupyeong gu, South Korea
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Park J.,Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA | Shin K.-S.,Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA | Kim Y.,University of Ulsan
Journal of Korean Medical Science | Year: 2010

The purpose of this study was to review occupational reproductive abnormalities and occupational bladder cancer in Korea and to discuss their toxicological implications. Reproductive dysfunction as a result of 2-bromopropane poisoning was first reported in Korean workers. In 1995, 23 of the 33 workers (25 female and 8 male workers) who were exposed to 2-bromopropane during the assembly of tactile switch parts developed reproductive and/or hematopoietic disorders. A total of 17 (68%) workers were diagnosed with ovarian failure. Two of the eight male workers experienced azoospermia and four workers experienced some degree of oligospermia or reduced sperm motility. In summary, 2-bromopropane poisoning caused severe reproductive effects in Korean workers. The prognosis was poor for reproductive dysfunction. A few cases of occupational bladder cancer have been reported in Korea, whereas other cancers of the urinary tract have not been reported after occupational exposure. A few cases of benzidine-induced cancer have been reported in Korea and 592 workers in Japan have received compensation for benzidine and β-naphthylamine-induced cancer. In conclusion, a few cases of benzidineinduced occupational bladder cancer have been reported in Korea. However, benzidineinduced bladder cancer will likely be an important occupational health issue in Korea in the coming years. © 2010 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.

Park J.,Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA | Kwon O.J.,Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA | Kim Y.,University of Ulsan
Industrial Health | Year: 2012

Long working hours adversely affect workers' safety and health. In 2004, Korea passed legislation limiting the working week to 40 h, to improve quality-of-life and to increase business competitiveness. In the present study, we explored the characteristics of work in Korea and compared our data of the second Korean Working Conditions Survey (KWCS) with those of the first KWCS. We found that the average number of hours worked weekly has been reduced but the proportions of workers who work for more than 48 h per week has increased over the 4 yr between the two Korean surveys in all categories studied (male, female, employee, self-employed, and employer). We also found that self-employed and employers work much longer hours than do employees, who are protected by the Labor Standards Act. This was particularly true in the accommodation and food service sectors. In conclusion, Korean workers work longer than do workers of EU countries. The use of average figures masks differences in the numbers of working hours among those engaged in various types of employment, or in certain work sectors. Therefore, the Korean government should not simply monitor reductions in average weekly working hours, but should identify employees working for over 60 h weekly, and reduce their working time. © 2012 National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

Park J.,Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA | Kim Y.,University of Ulsan | Hisanaga N.,Aichi University of Education
Industrial Health | Year: 2011

The effects of work on the heart are mediated by chemical, physical, and psychological stressors. It is standard clinical practice to assess personal risk factors such as cigarette smoking, hypertension, and cholesterol. Evaluation of a patient's acute symptoms and activity level at the time of presentation is also standard practice. However, clinicians typically do not assess workplace risk factors; nor do they usually identify the location and its possible exposures that may have contributed to the patient's symptoms. In Korea, work-related cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases (WR-CVDs) are among the most compensated cases, second only to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WR-MSDs). The average accumulated insurance benefit per injured worker is an estimated USD 75,000, which is thought to have a major impact on the financial stability of insurers. Therefore, the present study was performed to 1) review the physicochemical agents of cardiovascular diseases in Korea, 2) review the effects of psychosocial factors such as work-related stress on WR-CVDs in Korea, and 3) discuss the concepts and perspectives of WR-CVDs in Korea by comparing with those in Japan.

Chung E.K.,Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA
International Journal of Pharmacy and Technology | Year: 2016

This study is to measure understanding and attitudes about safety and health related to nanomaterials in work sites. A survey questionnaire was designed that included the general questions regarding nanomaterials,the contents of the guideline,and understanding of nanomaterial-related safety and health. Out of the 41 nanotechnology workplaces surveyed,29 manufactured or used nanomaterials and 12 did not handle nanomaterials. There were a total of 133 respondents including 59 employees,52 managers and 22 business owners (employers). Simple logit regression analysis was carried out to assess the difference in understanding of safety and health of the Guideline according to the characteristics of the respondents. Only 33.8% of the 133 respondents understood the "Nanomaterials Technical Guideline",while 59.4% did not. About 41.5 % of the respondents from ’nanomaterials field" workplaces were aware of the Technical Guideline,which is 8 times higher than in respondents from ’Other fields like nanoprocess’ (OR=8.16) (95% CI 1.83~36.42). While 65.4% of the managers responded that they would seek some consulting,this rate was 2.2 times higher than among employees and statistically significant (95% CI 1.04~4.82). It is necessary to provide training and education to reinforce accurate understanding of the Technical Guideline and thus fill the gap between the accurate information delivery and the understanding level of the contents of the Technical Guideline. © 2016,International Journal of Pharmacy and Technology. All rights reserved.

Kwon O.-J.,Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA | Kim Y.-S.,Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA
Safety Science | Year: 2013

In Korea, the safety climate of working environments is a crucial aspect of the issue of establishing an industrial accident-prevention policy. However, there have been insufficient studies on safety climate in South Korean working environments. The purpose of this study is to examine the safety climate factors that influence a safe working environment using a South Korean sample. A total of 500 surveys targeting manufacturing industry employees were conducted, and 131 valid samples were used for evaluation. Safety knowledge, safety compliance, safety motivation, and safe working environment were established as the main factors affecting safety climate awareness, and structural equation modeling was performed to confirm significant relationships. Out of eight hypotheses, three were rejected, and safety knowledge and safety motivation were shown to have no statistically significant effect on the safeness of the work environment. This result reflects the limitations of South Korea's government-led Occupational Safety and Health training and promotion programs and of systematic knowledge transfer and the encouragement of participation. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Kim E.-A.,Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA | Nakata M.,Kanazawa Medical University
Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine | Year: 2014

Objectives: Work related Musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) is one of the most important problem in occupational health system of Korea and Japan, where the OHS system developed in similar socio-cultural environment. This study compared WMSD in Korea and Japan to review similarities and differences in their historical background, and development of prevention policies.Methods: Scientific articles, government reports, and related official and non-official statistics on WMSD since the 1960s in Japan and Korea were reviewed.Results: The historical background and basic structure of the compensation system in Korea and Japan largely overlapped. The issuing of WMSD in both countries appeared as upper limb disorder (ULD), named occupational cervicobrachial diseases (OCD) in Japan, and neck-shoulder-arm syndrome (NSA) 30 years later in Korea, following the change from an industrial structure to automated office work. Both countries developed manuals for diagnosis, guidelines for workplace management, and prevention policies. At present, compensation cases per covered insurers for WMSD are higher in Korea than in Japan, due to the social welfare system and cultural environment. Prevention policies in Korea are enforced more strongly with punitive measures than in Japan. In contrast, the Japanese system requires autonomous effort toward risk control and management, focusing on specific risky processes.Conclusions: WMSD in Korea and Japan have a similar history of identification and compensation structure, yet different compensation proportions per covered insurer and prevention policies. Follow-up study with international cooperation is necessary to improve both systems. © 2014 Kim and Nakata; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Kwon H.-M.,Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA | Lee C.-J.,Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA | Seo D.,Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA | Moon I.,Yonsei University
Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries | Year: 2015

From the 1960s, Korean industries have been encouraged by the government to nurture heavy and chemical industry and to modernize the economics and industrial structures. The development of chemical industry particularly became the turning point in industrial development, and played a major role in the construction of a new industrialized country. However, the process systems in the chemical industry have become more complex and larger, and the inventories of dangerous chemicals that are produced or consumed have continuously increased. Therefore, the hazards from potential accidents such as fire and explosion or release of toxic chemicals have also increased. In fact, from the end of 1980s to the beginning of 1990s in Korea, a number of major industrial accidents such as ABS extruder explosion, TDI release and dryer explosion, etc. Occurred and caused many fatalities. As the chemical companies recognized the importance of preventing major hazards, PSM system, the prevention of major industrial accidents, was introduced in January 1995 by amending Industrial Safety and Health Act, and it has been enforced from January 1, 1996. According to the law, the business owner of a workplace with hazardous or dangerous equipment shall submit a process safety report to the Government to prevent any accidents, which could inflict an immediate damage on workers or on areas in the vicinity of the workplaces. As a result of PSM implementation for 19 years, chemical accident prevention system has been stabilized and various kinds of effectiveness and desirable customer satisfaction have been made. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Kang S.-K.,Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA
Industrial Health | Year: 2012

From the 1970s to 2000, the occupational accident rate in Korea showed a continuous decline. However, the rate has remained stagnant since 2000 even when the fatal injury rate has decreased 40% from that year. Injuries caused by being caught in objects have decreased while those caused by slips and falls on same level and falls from the height have increased. In 2010, the non-fatal injury rate per 100 employees was 0.63 while the fatal injury rate per 100,000 employees was 9.74. The construction industry accounted for 40.2% of all fatal injuries, and falls from the height caused 54.3% of the fatality. Musculoskeletal diseases accounted for 78.8% of the nonfatal occupational diseases while cardio-cerebrovascular diseases and pneumoconiosis are the two major fatal occupational diseases. Occupational diseases caused by chemical agents have decreased to 0.6% of all cases. However, there were several social disputes related to occupational diseases caused by low level of chemicals such as leukemia in a semiconductor company. Korea planned to reduce the fatal injury rate and total workday loss by 30% by 2015. In order to achieve this goal, the government will focus on vulnerable groups in collaboration with allies such as professional associations or organizations. © 2012 National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

Koh D.-H.,Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA | Kim T.-W.,Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA | Jang S.,Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA | Ryu H.-W.,Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA
American Journal of Industrial Medicine | Year: 2013

Background: Cement is used widely in the construction industry, though it contains hazardous chemicals such as hexavalent chromium. Several epidemiological studies have examined the association between cement dust exposure and cancer, but these associations have proved inconclusive. In the present study, we examined the association between dust exposure and cancer in cement industry workers in Korea. Methods: Our cohort consisted of 1,324 men who worked at two Portland cement manufacturing factories between 1997 and 2005. We calculated cumulative dust exposures, then categorized workers into high and low dust exposure groups. Cancer cases were identified between 1997 and 2005 by linking with the national cancer registry. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated for all workers and the high and low dust exposure groups, respectively. Results: The SIR for overall cancers in all workers was increased (1.35, 95% CI: 1.01-1.78). The SIR for stomach cancer in the high dust exposure group was increased (2.18, 95% CI: 1.19-3.65), but there was no increased stomach cancer risk in the low dust exposure group. The SIR for rectal cancer in all workers was increased (3.05, 95% CI: 1.32-6.02). Rectal cancer risk was similar in the high and low exposure groups. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PubMed | Yonsei University and Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency KOSHA
Type: | Journal: Annals of occupational and environmental medicine | Year: 2014

Hairdressers in Korea perform various tasks and are exposed to health risk factors such as chemical substances or prolonged duration of wet work. The objective of this study is to provide descriptive statistics on the demographics and work characteristics of hairdressers in Korea and to identify work-related risk factors for dermatologic symptoms in hairdressers.1,054 hairdressers were selected and analyzed for this study. Independent variables were exposure to chemical substances, the training status of the hairdressers, and the main tasks required of them, and the dependent variable was the incidence of dermatologic symptoms. The relationships between work characteristics and dermatologic symptoms were evaluated by estimating odds ratios using multiple logistic regression analysis.Among the 1,054 study subjects, 212 hairdressers (20.1%) complained of dermatologic symptoms, and the symptoms were more prevalent in younger, unmarried or highly educated hairdressers. The main tasks that comprise the majority of the wet work were strictly determined by training status, since 96.5% of staff hairdressers identified washing as their main task, while only 1.5% and 2.0% of master and designer hairdressers, respectively, identified this as their main task. Multiple logistic regressions was performed to estimate odds ratios. While exposure to hairdressing chemicals showed no significant effect on the odds ratio for the incidence of dermatologic symptoms, higher odds ratios of dermatologic symptoms were shown in staff hairdressers (2.70, 95% CI: 1.32 - 5.51) and in hairdressers who perform washing as their main task (2.03, 95% CI: 1.22 - 3.37), after adjusting for general and work characteristics.This study showed that the training status and main tasks of hairdressers are closely related to each other and that the training status and main tasks of hairdressers are related to the incidence of dermatologic symptoms. This suggests that in the future, regulations on working conditions and health management guidelines for hairdressers should be established.

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