China has a large working population, many of whom are exposed to occupational hazards on a daily basis. In addition, the overall number of occupational disease cases and the workplace mortality rate are higher than in many other countries. With rapid economic development, a proliferation of international and private companies has emerged, leading to conflicts between limited service capacity and a steadily growing need for occupational health surveillance. This article describes the current status of and issues related to the occupational health surveillance of China's working population, and suggests ways to resolve the shortfall in occupational health services. While, in principle, an employer's responsibilities for health protection are emphasised in Chinese occupational health legislation, there are still inadequacies in the current system, particularly relating to administrative agencies, employers' behaviour, the current situation regarding farm workers, and the integration of preventive approaches.
Journal of Occupational Health and Safety, Australia and New Zealand Vol. 24, Issue 5, p. 455-463