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Korean J Occup Environ Med. 2011 Dec;23(4):351-359. Korean. Review. https://doi.org/10.35371/kjoem.2011.23.4.351
Kang SK .
Occupational Safety & Health Research Institute, Korea Occupational Safety & Health Agency, Korea. skk@kosha.net
Abstract

Since 1964, when the official statistics on occupational injury rates had been produced for the first time, the rates have showed a steady decline until 2000. However, the injury rate has been stagnant since 2000 although the fatal injury rate has decreased 40% in the same period. The non-fatal injury rate per 100 employees was 0.63 while the fatal injury rate per 100,000 employees was 9.74 in 2010. Traumatic injuries accounted for 86.8% of all injuries, followed by non-traumatic injuries at 8.4% and injuries by traffic accidents at 4.6%. Injuries caused by being caught in objects, hit by flying or falling objects and collisions have decreased while those caused by slip and fall on same level and fall from the height have increased. The decrease in injuries caused by being caught in objects may be the result of prevention efforts because 68.6% of them occurred in the manufacturing industry where most efforts for prevention have been invested. The increase in injuries involving slips and falls on same level may be caused by the growing number of employees in the service industry where 51% of the cases occurred. The construction industry accounted for 40.2% of all fatal injuries, and falls from the height caused 54.3% of the fatality. The non-fatal injury rate of Korea is lower than that of industrialized countries while its fatal injury rate is comparatively higher. It is probably caused by many unclaimed cases of mild non-fatal injuries whereas most fatal injuries were filed. Another problem is that the injury rate does not include injuries that occur to workers who are not eligible for the compensation scheme. This information can be obtained through a surveillance system or the national survey. Therefore, the attention of occupational physicians should focus on injuries as well as diseases occurring at work, and also on all working population whose injuries and diseases are not covered by the compensation scheme.

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