Occupational Health and Safety in China: A Systematic Analysis of Research Trends and Future Perspectives

Xinglin Chen, Fuqiang Yang, Shuo Cheng, S. Yuan

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The frequent occurrence of various occupational accidents has resulted in significant casualties and occupational disease issues, which hinder economic and social development seriously. The promotion and enhancement of occupational health and safety (OHS) require greater efforts to be made to achieve sustainable economic development, particularly in developing countries. With remarkable progress and achievements that have been made in terms of OHS in China, a systematic and thorough review is needed to gain insight into the development process, current status, and research trends regarding OHS in China. Additionally, pathways for future work need to be discussed to boost the OHS development in China in the new era. Therefore, a systematic literature review is performed in this study to investigate the development of OHS in China with the help of a bibliometric analysis. Firstly, a total of 5675 publications related to OHS in China between 1979 and 2022 were collected from the Web of Science Core Collection (WoSCC) and the Chinese Science Citation Database (CSCD) before being refined manually. Then, the temporal distribution and journal sources of the collected publications were analyzed before the collaboration networks of the “productive institutions” and “productive authors” were discussed. Furthermore, the key research topics (e.g., disease prevention, psychological safety, occupational exposure) and dominant research methods (e.g., epidemiological methods, risk modeling) associated with OHS during different periods were identified and discussed based on the keywords and bibliographic analysis. Finally, the current needs and promising pathways for future work were discussed. It is suggested that the prevention and control of conventional and new occupational diseases, the protection of workers’ occupational health rights and interests, the development and implementation of advanced technologies for OHS, and the development of more sophisticated and efficient health and safety risk assessment models may be focused on to accelerate the development of OHS in China. This study systematically reviews the development processes, current status, and future prospects regarding OHS in China. The results of this study provide valuable insights for researchers and practitioners who are involved in the Chinese OHS development, and the promising pathways for future works are suggested to boost the OHS development in China.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14061
Pages (from-to)1-27
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • occupational health and safety
  • China
  • bibliometric analysis
  • literature review
  • research trends


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