Saf Health Work.  2011 Mar;2(1):52-56.

Occupational Injury Statistics in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, Incheon, Korea. skk@kosha.net

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The occupational accident rate was officially reported to be 0.77 per 100 workers in 2001 and 0.70 in 2009. The stagnant decrease in accident rate raises a question about the effectiveness of prevention activity because there have been active prevention efforts in the past 10 years. It is also necessary to know the exact status of occupational injuries to direct a prevention strategy.
METHODS
The author re-analyzed occupational injury statistics to find the reason for stagnant decreases in occupational injuries. Compensated occupational injuries cases were used to calculate fatal and non-fatal injury rates. Injuries from commuting accidents and sports activities were excluded as well as occupational diseases. The number of workers was adjusted to that of full time equivalent employees.
RESULTS
The fatal injury rate excluding injuries associated with commuting accidents, sports activities, and occupational diseases decreased from 12.59 in 2001 to 8.20 in 2009. In 2007, 67.5% of accidents that involved being caught in objects, which are mostly caused by machines and equipment, occurred in the manufacturing industry; this type of incident has decreased since 2001. The fatal and non-fatal injury rates in the manufacturing industry have continuously decreased while the rates in the service industry have not changed from 2001 to 2009. Non-fatal injuries might not be reported in many cases. The number of insured workers was underestimated as long working hours were not adjusted for in the reporting system.
CONCLUSION
The occupational fatal injury rate has decreased and the non-fatal injury rate might have decreased during the last 10 years, although the statistics show stagnancy. The decrease of the injury rate was countervailed by various factors. Hence, the current accident rate does not reflect the actual situation of accidents in Korea. Korea needs to develop an improved system to more accurately calculate occupational fatal and non-fatal injury rates.

Keyword

Occupational injury rate; Fatal injuries; Non-fatal injuries; Compensation; Prevention effectiveness
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