2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 91-98
Korea has a short history in research on occupational health like as short history of industrialization. During last four decades, however, Korea has experienced what developed countries have experienced for more than a hundred year. Research on occupational health in Korea has also drastically developed. Since industrialization in 1970s, many workers were exposed to hazardous working environment and suffered from occupational accidents and diseases. The main research topics were pneumoconiosis, noise-induced hearing loss and some chemical poisoning. However, improving working condition was not the top priority until the late 1980s. Carbon disulfide poisoning gave a big impact to the society. It made the government take many actions to improve working condition through regulation, enforcement, supporting academia, raising research fund, and establishing a research institute. Recently, classical occupational diseases have decreased and the interest from researchers has also reduced. Many claims for stress-related cardio-cerebro vascular diseases brought much concern and research on job stress. Work-related musculoskeletal disease became a major issue. Many workers are interested in quality of life, such as health promotion. Therefore, research on health promotion, job stress, and psychological problem from work organization would be the main research topics in the future, although research on occupational diseases, such as asthma, cancer and various diseases caused by chemicals are still attractive to researchers.