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Occupational injury surveillance in the US: where we are and where we need to go.
Injury Prevention and Control, 6th World Conference, Montréal, Quebec, Canada, May 12-15, 2002. Montréal: Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 2002 May; :337-338
Occupational injury surveillance in the U.S. is based on a patchwork of data and systems. These systems include national occupational fatality surveillance systems, an employer-based survey, and data from samples of emergency departments. There have been recent efforts to collect data on childhood agricultural injuries in response to a larger effort to prevent these injuries. These data are collected by mulitple federal agencies including the Department of Labour, NIOSH, the Department of Agriculture, and the National Centre for Health Statistics. These data have been effective in identifying trends over time at the national level, and identifying groups of workers experiencing large numbers and high rates of injuries. These data have been effective in identifying trends over time at the national level, and identifying groups of workers experiencing large numbers and high ratesof injuries. These data have been used to guide research and prevention efforts. There are a number of gaps in the national system of occupational injury data, however. A number of worker groups are inadedequately represented in existing surveillance data, including hard reaching populations such as migrant and seasonal workers. This limits the ability to assess injury risks for these groups, as well as to develop promising prevention programs. Much occupational injury sureveillance data derives from records, such as medical and employer records, which are of variable quality. Data on exposure to injury hazards is virtually nonexistent, but could add to the arsenal of tools in identifying high-risk workplaces. The information age poses both challenges and opportunities to ensure that data are accessible and useful to individuals in a position to target research and prevention methods. There is considerable validity in levels of occupational injury surveillance among states, as well as use of data to guide prevention efforts. State health agencies are especially suited to collecting detailed information not feasible at the national level, and from undertaking preventitive efforts based on the injury data. Most of the U.S. occupational injury surveillance systems provide data at the regional or state-level, though the data are limited and frequently insufficient for guiding state-level prevention efforts. Several states have specific programs to collect occupational injury data, ranging from programs to conduct in-depth investigations of occupational injury data, ranging from programs to conduct in-depth investigations of occupational injury fatalities to programs targeted to specific injury types or worker groups. This patchwork of data and surveillance systems have documented U.S. trends in occupational injuries, and identified injury problems requiring additional research and prevention efforts. Despite these accomplishments, there are substantial gaps in occupational injury surveillance and related activities. Priorities for future surveillance include the activities to improve data quality, development of new and improved surveillance methods, hazards surveillance, surveillance targets to high risks groups, expanding the capacity for state-level surveillance and prevention efforts, and efforts to increase accessibility and use of surveillance data.
Surveillance-programs; Standards; Occupational-health; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-industry; Age-factors; Accident-prevention; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Surveillance-programs
Injury Prevention and Control, 6th World Conference, Montréal, Quebec, Canada, May 12-15, 2002
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division