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Case Study: Occupational Health Surveys in China

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To understand the magnitude of occupational health problems in China, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has organized a number of nationwide surveys, including the following:

  • a survey on occupational exposures to benzene, lead, mercury, TNT and organophosphates (1979-81)
  • a retrospective epidemiological investigation on occupational cancers in workers exposed to eight chemicals (1983-85)
  • an epidemiological survey on pneumoconioses (1952-86)
  • a survey on occupational health problems of small-scale industries and the relevant intervention strategies (1984-85, 1990-92).


The results of these surveys have served as a very important foundation for formulating national policies and regulations. At the same time, a national occupational health reporting system has been established by MOPH. The Annual Report of the National Occupational Health Situation has been published since 1983. The data are compiled and analysed by the National Center of Occupational Health Reporting (NCOHR) and then reported to the MOPH. There are local reporting offices in Occupational Health Institutes (OHIs) or Health Epidemic Prevention Stations (HEPS) at all levels from county to province. The reporting follows a “bottom-up” procedure annually, but, if an acute poisoning accident happened which involved three or more cases of poisoning or one death, it must be reported to the local OHI and also directly to the MOPH within 24 hours by the primary-contact medical institutions. The information required to be reported every year includes the following: registered new cases of compensable occupational diseases, the results of health examinations of workers and the monitoring of working environments (MOPH 1991). China is currently promoting the computerization of the reporting system and its computer network. It currently extends from the national centre to the provincial offices.



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Part I. The Body
Part II. Health Care
Part III. Management & Policy
Part IV. Tools and Approaches
Biological Monitoring
Epidemiology and Statistics
Occupational Hygiene
Personal Protection
Record Systems and Surveillance
Part V. Psychosocial and Organizational Factors
Part VI. General Hazards
Part VII. The Environment
Part VIII. Accidents and Safety Management
Part IX. Chemicals
Part X. Industries Based on Biological Resources
Part XI. Industries Based on Natural Resources
Part XII. Chemical Industries
Part XIII. Manufacturing Industries
Part XIV. Textile and Apparel Industries
Part XV. Transport Industries
Part XVI. Construction
Part XVII. Services and Trade
Part XVIII. Guides

Record Systems and Surveillance References

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