Prevent occupational diseases

Updated: 2014-11-17 07:54

(China Daily)

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A recent plan drafted by Hunan province for the prevention and control of occupational diseases is expected to reduce the incidence of occupational diseases in the province, because it requires the medical records of workers exposed to occupational health hazards to be listed and mandates that they undergo regular check-ups and, if necessary, receive treatment, says an article on Excerpts:

Since 2000, nearly 70 coalminers in a town in Hunan's Lixian county have been diagnosed with pneumoconiosis, some of whom have died. More than 100 other miners suffering from the same disease have not reported to the authorities.

Some employers had been exploiting the loopholes in labor laws to expose frontline workers to health hazards without taking measures to prevent and control occupational diseases.

The incidence of occupational diseases is high in Hunan because it one of the largest producers of non-ferrous metals in the country. To make matters worse, some factory owners in the province have not taken any measures to prevent occupational diseases, with a few even refusing to pay the medical bills of employees who have fallen victim to occupational diseases.

Less than 10 percent of potential occupational disease victims undergo medical check-ups and only 20 percent of them are covered by the special healthcare insurance. To correct the situation, higher authorities have to take strict remedial measures at the national level.

Hunan's decision to employ special occupational health disease specialists in factories and mines is the first move of its kind in the country. This is an example that all provinces and regions in China should emulate to ensure sustainable development in the long run.