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Objectives : This study examines the problem of the preplacement health examination in terms of hearing loss case, where workers have been experiencing job instability in the labor market. Methods : In order to measure the 2-year job retention rate of employees in 79 shipbuilding subcontracted companies in Kyongnam province, we utilized the same methods as those used by Neumark et al(1999), and Bernhardt et al(1999). We surveyed 79 heath and safety personnel from the companies with a questionnaire to evaluate the present status of the preplacement health examination. We reviewed the preplacement health certificates(result of audiometric hearing thresholds) of 1,818 recruits issued by Daewoo hospital from January 1 to June 30, 2001. Results : The job retention rate was 40.3%(male 38.53%, female 52.01%). Of the 79 health and safety personnel of companies, 44(55.7%) perceived the preplacement health examination as a tool for the selection of recruits, 3(3.8%) as a procedure for job fitting and 31(39.2%) as both. Most of them were against the acceptance of recruits with hearing loss, spinal disease and hepatitis. Among the 1,818 workers who underwent the preplacement health examination, 530(29.1%) were examined after employment, but 1,096(60.3%) were examined before employment. The number with previous job experience was 1,591(87.5%). In the audiometric hearing threshold results, the prevalence of hearing loss was positively correlated with age. There was a significant difference in the prevalence of hearing loss depending on previous job and number of quitting at 4,000 Hz. Conclusions : The comparison of 2-year job retention rates before and after the Korean economic crisis of 1997 suggests that job stability has been aggravated especially for cohorts of long tenure, irregular job, and old age. This evidence shows that previous job and age play a role in determining worker employment based on perceived results from the preplacement health examination. This result suggests that a pre-employment health examination be substituted for the preplacement health examination based on the essential job functions and reasonable accommodation. Because it has little relevance in a wide range of employment and minor health problems, the results of this examination should not debar applicants from employment.