J Korean Med Sci.  2014 Jun;29(Suppl):S47-S51. 10.3346/jkms.2014.29.S.S47.

Workers' Compensation for Occupational Respiratory Diseases

  • 1Occupational Lung Diseases Institute, Korea Workers' Compensation & Welfare Service, Ansan, Korea.
  • 2Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, College of Medicine, the Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. cyclor@catholic.ac.kr
  • 3Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


The respiratory system is one of the most important body systems particularly from the viewpoint of occupational medicine because it is the major route of occupational exposure. In 2013, there were significant changes in the specific criteria for the recognition of occupational diseases, which were established by the Enforcement Decree of the Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance Act (IACIA). In this article, the authors deal with the former criteria, implications of the revision, and changes in the specific criteria in Korea by focusing on the 2013 amendment to the IACIA. Before the 2013 amendment to the IACIA, occupational respiratory disease was not a category because the previous criteria were based on specific hazardous agents and their health effects. Workers as well as clinicians were not familiar with the agent-based criteria. To improve these criteria, a system-based structure was added. Through these changes, in the current criteria, 33 types of agents and 11 types of respiratory diseases are listed under diseases of the respiratory system. In the current criteria, there are no concrete guidelines for evaluating work-relatedness, such as estimating the exposure level, latent period, and detailed examination methods. The results of further studies can support the formulation of detailed criteria.


Respiratory Tract Diseases; Occupational Diseases; Workers' Compensation; Korea
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