On April 27 2012 the State Administration of Work Safety promulgated three new regulations to implement the recently revised Occupational Disease Prevention and Control Law. The regulations provide more specific guidance on employers' obligations in terms of occupational disease prevention and control under the law.

The Regulations on the Administration of Occupational Health on Working Premises provide that companies may be required to appoint personnel or establish a structure to monitor occupational health issues on a full-time or part-time basis, depending on the level of occupational health risk and the number of employees. In addition, the regulations provide specific guidance on other obligations for employers under the law, including:

  • the frequency of, and requirements for, the assessment of occupational disease hazards;
  • the requirements for informing employees of occupational hazards;
  • the requirements for keeping occupational health records; and
  • the requirements for reporting occupational diseases.

If the employer fails to fulfil its obligations, it will be subject to fines ranging from Rmb5,000 to Rmb500,000, depending on the violation.

The Measures on Reporting Projects with Potential Occupational Disease Hazards provide specific procedural and documentary requirements for reporting occupational disease hazards related to projects (eg, construction projects or other projects that may produce occupational disease hazards as listed in the catalogue promulgated by the state administration). If an employer fails to report in accordance with the measures, it will be subject to fines of between Rmb50,000 and Rmb100,000.

The Administrative Measures on Employer Monitoring of Occupational Health clarify employers' requirements in relation to occupational health examinations, including the management of employees' occupational health monitoring files. The measures specify requirements on the timing, documentation and standards for health examinations before and during employment and before an employee's departure. In addition, the measures further clarify the information that must be included in the employee's occupational disease files. Failure to comply may result in a fine of up to Rmb300,000, depending on the violation. In serious cases, the employer may be closed down by order of the government.

For further information on this topic please contact Andreas Lauffs or Jonathan Isaacs at Baker & McKenzie's Hong Kong office by telephone (+852 2846 1888), fax (+852 2845 0476) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]).