OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study is to analyze the characteristics of occupational diseases listed by Korea Labor Welfare Corporation(KLWC). METHODS: Using the database of the KLWC, we collected 575 approved occupational disease cases occurring between 1 January and 31 December 1999 and approved by the thirtieth June in 2000. We investigated the characteristics(sex, age, occupational history, kinds of occupational disease, exposure material, type of enterprises, etc.) of occupational disease using a mail survey and telephone interviews. RESULTS: Men accounted for 88.9 %(511 workers) of the approved cases. 56 cases(9.7%) died of occupational disease. The most common age group was 50~59 years of age(n=217, 37.7 %). The proportion of workers with grater than ten years disease related working condition exposure were 195(49.0 %). The majority of diseases were respiratory problems(211 workers, 22.4 %), occupational hearing loss(149 workers, 25.9 %), infectious disease(69 workers, 12.0 %), intoxication(60 workers, 10.4 %), skin disease(29 workers, 5.0 %) and cancer(17 workers, 3.0 %). The causal hazardous agents were dusts(209 cases, 36.3 %), physical agents(157 cases, 27.3 %), chemical agents(89 cases, 16.3 %), biological agents(82 cases, 14.3 %) and workrelated agents(34 cases, 5.9 %). The major types of enterprise were manufacturing(262 workers, 45.6 %), mining and quarrying(174 workers, 30.3 %), public administration(42 workers, 7.3 %) and the health care industry(28 workers, 4.9 %). The kinds of job included craft and related trades workers(285 workers, 49.6 %), plant or machine operators and assemblers(139 workers, 24.2 %), elementary occupations(72 workers, 12.5 %) and professionals(28 workers, 4.9 %). CONCLUSIONS: We were able to elucidate the kinds of occupational disease and the characteristics of workers through this study. Many approved cases occurred among nonmanufacturing and non-mining workers and the kinds of disease were varied. This suggests that management policy must be established to prevent occupational disease occurring among workers in the above type of industries.