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How much work-related injury and illness is missed by the current national surveillance system?

Authors
Rosenman-KD; Kalush-A; Reilly-MJ; Gardiner-JC; Reeves-M; Luo-Z
Source
J Occup Environ Med 2006 Apr; 48(4):357-365
NIOSHTIC No.
20030014
Abstract
Objective: We sought to estimate the undercount in the existing national surveillance system of occupational injuries and illnesses. Methods: Adhering to the strict confidentiality rules of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, we matched the companies and individuals who reported work-related injuries and illnesses to the Bureau in 1999, 2000, and 2001 in Michigan with companies and individuals reported in four other Michigan data bases, workers' compensation, OSHA Annual Survey, OSHA Integrated Management Information System, and the Occupational Disease Report. We performed capture-recapture analysis to estimate the number of cases missed by the combined systems. Results: We calculated that the current national surveillance system did not include 61% and with capture-recapture analysis up to 68% of the work-related injuries and illnesses that occurred annually in Michigan. This was true for injuries alone, 60% and 67%, and illnesses alone 66% and 69%, respectively. Conclusions: The current national system for work-related injuries and illnesses markedly underestimates the magnitude of these conditions. A more comprehensive system, such as the one developed for traumatic workplace fatalities, that is not solely dependent on employer based data sources is needed to better guide decision-making and evaluation of public health programs to reduce work-related conditions.
Keywords
Surveillance-programs; Information-retrieval-systems; Injuries; Diseases; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-diseases; Statistical-quality-control; Data-processing; Statistical-analysis
Contact
Kenneth D. Rosenman, MD, Michigan State University, 117 West Fee, East Lansing, MI 48824
CODEN
JOEMFM
Publication Date
20060401
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Rosenman@msu.edu
Funding Amount
666000
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2006
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-004276; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008466
Issue of Publication
4
ISSN
1076-2752
Source Name
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
State
MI
Performing Organization
Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
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