Korean J Occup Environ Med.  1999 Mar;11(1):66-79.

A Study of Working Status and Industrial Accidents for Migrant Workers in Korea

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Korea.
  • 2Institute for Occupational & Environmental Health, Korea University, Korea.
  • 3Center of Occupational Medicine, Hallym University, Korea.


This study was conducted to evaluate and to recognize the status and the problems of working conditions, and industrial accidents for migrant workers in a group of 342 who lives in Ansan area, Kyunggi province. By the questionnaire written by 5 languages (English, Bangladesh, Indonesian, Chinese and Korean), the informations of socio-demographic factors, occupational conditions of engaged company and general & occupational health status were obtained from June, 1st to July 30th, 1998. We used the ANOVA to examine differences of working hours, days and average monthly wages between overseas industrial trainee and illegal migrant workers, and by using logistic regression, odds ratio of general risk factors for industrial accidents in migrant workers were calculated. The results obtained were as follows 1. The major distribution of nationals were from Philippine, Indonesia, Bangladesh and China(92.1%), and the most of subjects were man(78.9%) and over high school graduate(81.9%). 2. Most migrant workers worked at small scale companies under 50 employees, and engaged in dye, textile clothing, leather industry. The average working hours were 59.9 hours per week in overseas industrial trainee, 64.9 hours in illegal migrant worker respectively. 3. Trainees have transferred to another company for 1.89 times, and workers who have changed qualification from trainee to illegal status were 3.09 tims, and illegal workers moved 2.36 times. The major portion of reason to move to another company were low salary and overdue salary. 4. Trainees, workers who have changed position from trainee to illegal status, and illegal workers knows 62.27%, 42.31%, and 20.45% in each about legal documentation for foreign industrial trainees in Korea "Regulations for protecting and managing of foreign industrial trainees in Korea" published on March 1995. Additionally, trainees and illegal workers have experienced medical examination by 52.3% and 18.2% respectively. 5. Industrial accident condition from Jun. 1st, 1997 to Dec. 3lth, 1997 were as follows in case of frequent rate, trainees and illegal workers were 30.04, 23.78 each, and 8.6%, 7.4% for industrial accident rate respectively. 6. The most common causes and types of industrial accident were inappropriate motions of body and abrasion, and body sites most vulnerable to injury were the hands and fingers. The results suggest that working status and industrial accidents of migrant workers are very poor in Korea. Therefore, occupational safety and health policy aimed at migrant workers are needed to protect the migrant workers.


Migrant worker; Industrial accident; Small scale industry; Overseas industrial trainee; Illegal migrant worker

MeSH Terms

Accidents, Occupational*
Asian Continental Ancestry Group
Health Policy
Logistic Models
Occupational Health
Odds Ratio
Risk Factors
Salaries and Fringe Benefits
Transients and Migrants*
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