Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies (DSHEFS)
The Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies (DSHEFS) conducts surveillance of the nation's workforce and workplaces to assess job-related illnesses, exposures, and hazardous agents, as well as, research into the causes of diseases in the working population and their offspring. DSHEFS provides technical assistance on occupational safety and health issues to other federal agencies, state and local agencies, technical groups, unions, employers, and employees. Major programmatic activities include:
DSHEFS continuously monitors trends of occupational diseases and related workplace hazards to improve prevention and make the nation’s workplaces safer. Surveillance staff use many existing data sources from other agencies and develop national and state-based illness- and hazard-tracking systems to provide information about worker health to policy makers, researchers, practitioners, and the public. Technical assistance is provided to state partners to build state-based occupational health surveillance programs. DSHEFS promotes and supports the inclusion of industry and occupation information in health surveys, medical and vital records in order to identify and track links between workplace exposures and illnesses. DSHEFS communicates surveillance findings, provides interactive web sites for sharing data, and develops educational materials to guide prevention and identify research gaps.
Health Hazard Evaluations
DSHEFS carries out the NIOSH health hazard evaluation program. Through this free program, NIOSH responds to requests from employees, employee representatives, and employers to evaluate concerns about possible work-related hazards in the workplace. In response to a request, NIOSH may provide written information, refer the requester to a more appropriate agency, call to discuss the problems and how they might be resolved, or visit the workplace to investigate the problem firsthand and offer recommendations on how to control a hazard or prevent the occurrence of occupational illness. DSHEFS posts reports of health hazard evaluation field investigations on its website so that others may benefit from the information. More information about the program is available at: www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe.
DSHEFS also investigates work-related deaths caused by medical conditions (such as heart disease) in firefighters. Investigators meet with the decedent’s co-workers and review fire department and medical records. They prepare reports that make recommendations for preventing similar deaths. These reports are posted on the website at: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire/.
DSHEFS conducts industrywide studies to determine the incidence and prevalence of acute and chronic disease in the working population and their offspring, and to determine the nature and extent of acute and chronic responses to potentially hazardous agents in the work environment. These studies include clinical field studies, industrial hygiene field studies, and longitudinal record-based studies. Participants in these studies and the public are notified of identified health risks. Study results are also disseminated in peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, technical articles and reports, and through presentations at scientific meetings.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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