Overview of K-OSHA Amendments 2021

The South Korean Occupational Safety and Health Act, K-OSHA, is an amendment to the Industrial Safety and Health Act (ISHA) subordinate regulations, also known as the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). Most sections of this amendment became effective on January 16, 2020, except for the section that applies to hazard communication, which entered into force on January 16, 2021. 

Reasons for KOSHA

The Ministry of Employment and Labor (MoEL) aims to use the KOSHA amendment to better support the industry and its workers. It aims to do this by delegating some power to the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA), a MOEL affiliate body. 

The ministry also wants to have more control over the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) information and use it to set new standards for chemical manufacturers and importers. 

How the KOSHA Amendment Works

The ministry’s amendment to the OSHA Act now requires chemical manufacturers and importers into Korea to comply with the obligations which came in force early this year. These individuals now must submit SDS copies to KOSHA through its IT system. 

The obligation also applies to chemicals with classified content before manufacturing or importation. According to Article 110 of the K-OSHA amendment, the submitted SDS should include specific information like the declaration of hazardous substances that put the chemical substance in a particular classification with an elaboration of each substance’s weight and concentration. 

The KOSHA amendment also introduces a set of other rules on disclosure of information and Trade secrets. In instances where foreign national wants to exports chemicals into the country, should comply with the Only Representative (OR) system which aims to the confidentiality of certain information. 

How to Comply With New Rules As Stated By KOSHA Amendment Act

According to the new set of rules, you can comply through only of the following three options,

  1. If you are submitting full information, plus the non-hazardous component in the SDS, you will have to submit the SDS through the MSDS IT system. 
  2. You can also opt to disclose only the harmful components in the Safety Data Sheet. You will have to submit it with a different document with the details (name and content) of the non-hazardous components. 
  3. The third option only applies to imported products. It requires that the Safety Data Sheet only includes the hazardous components, and the importer submits the same alongside a letter by the respective foreign company exporting the chemical. The letter should state that all the non-discloses details of the substance are non-hazardous.

Items Exempted From SDS Submissions

  • The following items do not require going through the SDS submission protocol
  • Health functional food as per the Health Functional Foods Act 
  • Source materials as per the Protective Action Guidelines
  • Household chemical products for regular and daily purposes as per the act on Safety Management of Household Chemical Products and Biocides
  • Hygiene products as per the Hygiene Products Control Act
  • Medical devices as per the Medical Device Act
  • Chemical substance categorized by the Ministry of Employment and Labor for research and development purposes




https://www.intertek.com/regulatory/consulting/south-korea-osha/ https://www.natlawreview.com/article/k-osha-amendments-effective-january-16-2021