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Putting data to work in Connecticut: a five year review of occupational health indicators, 2000-2004.
St. Louis-TE; DeLoreto-AL; Pease-D
Hartford, CT: State of Connecticut Department of Public Health, 2007 Oct; :1-24
Approximately 1.7 million Connecticut residents report to work every day. Every year, many of these workers are either killed, injured, or made ill as a direct result of their employment. These injuries, illnesses, and fatalities can result in a serious burden on the workers and their families. In addition, workplace illnesses and injuries have an economic impact on our state. In 2003, Connecticut paid out over $753 million in Workers' Compensation benefits. These impacts highlight the need to study and analyze data, and to intervene to provide a safer workplace for Connecticut workers. A national surveillance system already exists for fatal occupational injuries however, no national system provides similar comprehensive surveillance data for non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses. In an attempt to bridge this gap in surveillance data, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) in association with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) convened a workgroup in 1998, comprised of state-based and federal occupational health professionals, to develop a more comprehensive surveillance tool to track occupational illnesses and injuries nationwide. In 2003, CSTE published Occupational Health Indicators: A Guide for Tracking Occupational Health Conditions and their Determinants, which focused on 19 occupational health indicators selected based on the availability of data needed to calculate them and their importance to the improvement of worker health. Thirteen states volunteered to pilot this "how to" document to produce occupational health indicator data for the year 2000. The results of that work was captured in a report published jointly by CSTE and NIOSH titled Putting Data to Work: Occupational Health Indicators from Thirteen Pilot States for 2000. The following report represents five years of occupational health indicator data specific to Connecticut. Workforce demographics are also tracked as part of the occupational health indicators and are included in this report. This "Demographic Profile" details the racial, ethnic, age, and gender composition of the Connecticut workforce, as well as the distribution of the workforce by industry and occupation. National data for the year 2000 is provided in addition to Connecticut-specific data, when available and appropriate, for comparison. Descriptions of the specific data resources used for compilation of each indicator are provided as well. In some cases, the data used to generate the occupational health indicators are derived from estimates of employer surveys performed on an annual basis, while in other cases the data represent individual case counts of affected workers. However, in all cases the data used to generate occupational health indicators are subject to limitations that affect their quality. Some of these factors include underreporting of occupational illnesses and injuries by employees, physicians, and employers, inadequate healthcare provider recognition of occupational injuries and illnesses, difficulties in attributing diseases with long latency periods (e.g. silicosis, cancers) to workplace exposures, exclusion of certain at-risk populations from the surveillance pool (e.g. self-employed, military), and coding discrepancies. Given these limitations, caution should be used when interpreting or applying the occupational health indicators broadly.
Surveillance-programs; Epidemiology; Statistical-analysis; Questionnaires; Demographic-characteristics; Lost-work-days; Injuries; Accident-rates; Accident-statistics; Accidents; Traumatic-injuries
Putting data to work in Connecticut: a five year review of occupational health indicators, 2000-2004
Connecticut Department of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health