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Occupational health surveillance in New Mexico: highlights from the CSTE indicators project.

Moraga-Mchaley-S; Mulloy-KB; Voorhees-R
N.M. Epidemiol Rep 2004 Jul; 2004(6):1-3
Workplace injuries and illnesses remain a significant problem in the United States. A worker is injured every five seconds [1, 2]. In 1996, an estimated 11,000 workers were disabled each day due to work-related injuries [3], and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in 2000 that 5,915 workers in private industry died as a result of work related injuries [4]. It is estimated that 50,000 to 70,000 workers die each year from work-related diseases [5, 6]. Among special populations of workers, such as adolescents (two percent of the total workforce), the burden of injury may be disproportionately high. Seventy-four thousand young workers seek treatment in hospital emergency departments for work-related injuries each year, and 70 die each year of these injuries [5]. The National Safety Council estimated in 1996 that on-the-job injuries alone cost society $121 billion. The 1992 combined U.S. economic burden for occupational illness and injury was an estimated $171 billion [7]. In New Mexico, there has been little capacity to systematically assess illnesses and injuries occurring on the job. In 2002, the Office of Epidemiology in the New Mexico Department of Health, in partnership with the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center's Program in Occupational and Environmental Health, received a grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to establish an occupational injury and illnesses surveillance system for New Mexico. The New Mexico Occupational Health Registry (NMOHR) was established to utilize existing data from state and federal public health and labor agencies, public and private healthcare providers, and academic institutions in order to create a single repository for combining these data into valid, reliable and useful surveillance information. In order to more fully assess occupational injuries and illnesses, selected occupationally-related conditions were made reportable in 2003. In 1998, NIOSH, in conjunction with the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), convened a work group to make recommendations to NIOSH for occupational health surveillance activities [9]. The work group developed the Occupational Health Indicators for the NIOSH state-based occupational health surveillance projects. Criteria for selection of indicators included: 1) the availability of easily attainable statewide data; 2) the public health importance of the occupational health effect or exposure to be measured; and 3) the potential for workplace intervention activities. The occupational health indicators provide standardized information about workplace injuries and illnesses. NMOHR is working with the CSTE/NIOSH Work Group on the occupational health indicators for the state of New Mexico.
Work-environment; Work-operations; Work-performance; Work-practices; Worker-health; Workplace-monitoring; Workplace-studies; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-diseases; Occupational-health; Occupational-health-programs; Occupational-health-services; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Surveillance-programs; Statistical-analysis
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Cooperative Agreement
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Research Tools and Approaches: Surveillance Research Methods
Source Name
New Mexico Epidemiology Report
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division