Korean J Occup Health Nurs.  2014 Nov;23(4):277-286. 10.5807/kjohn.2014.23.4.277.

First and Second Korean Working Conditions Survey: A Comparison between South Korea and EU Countries

  • 1Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute (OSHRI), Affiliated with the Korean Occupation Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA), Incheon, Korea. hmhak@hanmail.net


In this study, I am going to figure out Korean workers' actual exposure to risk factors and percentage of the workers who complain of health problems by performing a comparative analysis of the characteristics of the workers and working conditions in Korea and EU.
The data used in this study includes the 1st working conditions survey conducted in 2006 in Korea, the 2nd working conditions survey in 2010, the 4th EU working conditions survey, and the 5th EU working conditions survey. I have compared the changes to Korean working conditions and those to EU working conditions in the categories of demographic characteristics, quality of labor, exposure to risk factors, and health problems included in the data.
The analysis of the characteristics of the demographic characters of Korean workers shows that aged and female workers register increased labor force participation. The analysis of labor quality shows that Korea has a long working time but with a lower work intensity compared to the countries included in EU working conditions survey. As for risk factors, Korea registers a low level of exposure as compared to countries included in EU working conditions survey and characteristically shows a decreasing exposure to tobacco smoke. The survey shows sharply increasing complaints of muscle pain in the upper and lower limbs.
In this study, I have identified vulnerable social groups by using quantified values in a comparison of the working conditions of Korea and those of EU.


Working conditions survey; Labor quality; Risk factor; Health problem
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