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Is your company under surveillance? It should be!
Occup Health Saf 1982 Apr; 51(4):50-54
Surveillance at the work place for health and safety problems was reviewed from the perspective of the occupational health nurse (OHN). One of the cornerstones of epidemiology was continuous and systematic surveillance of work place conditions. Proper surveillance entailed collection of relevant data, consolidation of the data into meaningful statements, analysis of data in light of the work situation, and dissemination of findings to others engaged in similar activities. Much of the data collection would be from company log books, accident reports, personnel records, medical records, and questionnaires completed by employees. The in depth analysis and rearrangement of collected data in graphic and tabular systems would frequently highlight contributing factors and trends. In the analysis stage, data was compared with some normal values allowing differences to be identified and reasons for these differences sought. The data might include number of injuries, persons with a specific type of injury, specific severity of injury, cases referred to outside care, cases treated on site, compensation costs, lost time, or specific occupational connections. Comparisons could be sought with total number of employees, employees in each department, employees in each job title or occupation, man hours worked without injury, or total number of injuries. Dissemination of findings could be undertaken by the site OHN or safety director. Dissemination would be made not only to those inside the facility but also to OSHA, industry association, unions, and other interested parties. Educational programs could be built from information contained in such studies. This education and training would hopefully result in lowered accident rates and lowered hazardous conditions at the work site. The author concludes that programs should be developed for making nurses and management aware of the important contributions OHNs can make in reducing injury incidence.
IOHSA5; NIOSH-Author; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Worker-health; Safety-research; Occupational-health-programs; Surveillance-programs; Industrial-health-programs; Industrial-safety; Work-practices
Issue of Publication
Occupational Health and Safety
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division