Publication Details

Kelly, D. J. & Cahill, R. 2010, 'OHS in China - work in progress', in A. Barnes, N. Balnave & G. Lafferty (eds), AIRAANZ 2010 Work in Progress: Crises, Choices and Continuity, College of Business, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-7.


This paper explores the barriers and challenges to effective implementation of occupational health and safety regulation (OHS), and occupational exposure limits (OELs) in China in order to identify the lessons for social science scholars and activists. It finds that formal labour legislation, including occupational health and safety legislation is relatively extensive, but rarely effectively realised. This has partly been because of the pace of political and economic transformation in China. As a result, the soft infrastructure of skills and knowledge necessary for an active, effective and genuinely protective OHS system are inchoate, and often, as OHS awareness has grown, firms‟ owners have shifted production to rural or distant sites. Nevertheless there is evidence of growing awareness of the importance of OHS and occupational exposure limits in China, and the means by which working people can assist in its implementation, and resist dangerous safety practices, environments or working conditions.

Link to publisher version (URL)

University of Western SydneyUniversity of Western Sydney