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Ex-rail worker’s depression ruled industrial illness

A KTX train service attendant’s clinical depression was recognized as work related for the first time on Thursday.

According to the Korea Workers’ Compensation and Welfare Service, or COMWEL, a former KTX attendant was informed that her psychological conditions have been recognized as an industrial accident.

The ruling makes the 31-year-old former KTX attendant, whose name has been withheld, eligible for compensation.

“The Seoul Occupational Disease Award Commission, which reviewed the case, judged that the depression was triggered by repeated stress from passengers,” a COMWEL official said.

He added that as far as COMWEL is aware, this is the first time a KTX attendant is receiving compensation for depression.

According to the commission, the former KTX attendant joined Korea Railroad Corp.’s subsidiary KORAIL Tourism Development in May 2006.

Until 2012, she worked at the company’s Seoul branch. She was then temporarily transferred to work on projects regarding the opening of the ITX line linking Seoul to Chugncheon, Gangwon Province between March 2012 and January 2013. During this time, she was diagnosed with depression and a panic disorder and quit her job in October 2013.

While at the Seoul office, she was subjected to continuous sexual harassment from customers whose comments ranged from asking her out, to implying sexual relations.

She was also exposed to verbal and physical abuse from customers, the commission said.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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