J Korean Med Sci.  2014 Jun;29(Suppl):S3-S11. 10.3346/jkms.2014.29.S.S3.

The Administrative Process for Recognition and Compensation for Occupational Diseases in Korea

  • 1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Anyang, Korea. kwon5996@hallym.ac.kr


In the Workers' Compensation Insurance (WCI) system in Korea, occupational diseases (ODs) are approved through deliberation meetings of the Committee on Occupational Disease Judgment (CODJ) after disease investigations when workers or medical institutions requested the Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service (COMWEL) for medical care benefits. Insufficient data presented by employers or workers or lack of objective evidence may increase the possibility of disapproval. The expertise of accident investigation staff members should be reinforced and employers' and related institutions' obligations to cooperate and submit data should be specified under the law. The deliberation meetings of the CODJ are held separately for musculoskeletal, cerebro-cardiovascular, and medical diseases, and the judgments of ODs are made by the chairperson of COMWEL and six committee members by majority vote by issue. To reinforce the expertise of the members of the CODJ, periodic education and a system to accredit the committee members after appropriate education should be introduced. To fairly and quickly compensate for diseases that occur in workers, the criteria for the recognition of occupational diseases should be continuously amended and the systems for disease investigations and judgments should be continuously improved.


Occupational Diseases; Workers' Compensation; Korea
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