Social research perspectives on occupational health issues are reviewed. Social factors in the etiology, control, and prevention of occupational illnesses are described. Recent trends in the field of occupational illnesses are identified. Research areas requiring further study are discussed, including the need to classify occupations according to their health risks, and the need to assess worker attitudes toward health risks. Current research in the Division of Occupational Health of the Public Health Service is described, including the study of sickness absence behavior, studies of coal miners, and the organization of industrial medical care services.