New Leader, Site for Korea's OSHA

Baek Hun Ki, who previously chaired a national federation of labor unions, became president of the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency on July 15.

The Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, KOSHA, installed a new president July 15, one week after celebrating the 44th annual OSH Week, which shared the message of safety and health's importance with the general public. KOSHA also launched a new English website July 1 with the Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, OSHRI, to make it easier for overseas colleagues to follow OSH activities, research, and publications in Korea.

The Republic of Korea's workplace safety record needs to improve. During 2010, about 2,200 occupational fatalities and 98,620 occupational injuries and illnesses were recorded in the country -- totals that mean six workers are dying on the job and 270 are being injured or sickened each day, according to KOSHA.

Economic losses caused by occupational accidents in 2010 equaled the yearly wage of 880,000 new workers, and lost work days total more than 100 times the number of days lost to strikes and walkouts, the agency's CEO said.

The Ministry of Employment and Labor and KOSHA organized OSH Week Event to communicated the seriousness of accidents at work. A "1 vs.100" safety and health-themed TV program was broadcast nationally July 5 as part of the week, as was a July 3 documentary about a family affected by an occupational accident.

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