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우리나라 COVID-19 확진자 직업 분포와 노동자 보호 방안

Vulnerable Occupations to COVID-19 and Measures for Protecting Workers from Infectious Biological Hazards at Workplaces

한국산업보건학회지 2020년 30권 3호 p.256 ~ 269
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Abstract


Objectives: Everyone has been affected in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic, while some workers face threats to their health due to their jobs as well as worries about spreading the virus to intimate family members. With these concerns in mind, this study aims to identify occupations more vulnerable to COVID-19 and suggests the necessity of providing proper control measures against the risks in a timely manner in Korea.

Methods: Daily briefing reports by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) were compiled (n=120) for between January 20 and May 31, 2020. A total of 11,486 confirmed cases were included, which were sorted by occasion, area, and occupation. Among them, 2,411 cases were classified with specific occasions and/or areas of infection, while only 544 cases were determined with identifiable occupations. Guidelines for biological hazard management and COVID-19 guidelines for workplaces from domestic and international bodies were enlisted and compared.

Results: It is unsurprising to find that healthcare professionals are experiencing the most immediate threat from COVID-19. In addition, service workers with face-to-face practices or indirect contact are also facing high risks. Religion facilities and eating places (dining, drinking bar, cafe, etc., 13%) follow. Guidelines and manuals for biological hazards are still lacking in Korea compared to the US and EU. Workplace manuals for managing COVID-19 are neither as comprehensive as the approaches of NIOSH’s hierarchy of controls nor inclusive enough for minimizing secondary or tertiary suffering.

Conclusions: The COVID-19 crisis is still ongoing and there is no doubt there will be more such events in the future. This analysis suggests that occupational health professionals, amid a pandemic including COVID-19, are urged to anticipate emerging risks related to all sorts of occupations, identify vulnerable workers and working environments, and plan and take actions to protect workers’ health.

키워드

COVID-19; essential workers; risk management; vulnerable work

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