Who are required to report work-related asthma in New Jersey? Physicians, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, and hospitals are required by law to report to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) cases of work-related asthma (WRA). Reports of possible, probable, and/or confirmed cases of WRA must be submitted using our OCC-31 reporting from which can be requested from the Environmental and Occupational Health Surveillance Unit or down loaded from the Internet in two formats: a) a fillable Microsoft Word document at www.nj.gov/health/forms/occ-31.dot
and b) a PDF document at http://www.state.nj.us/health/forms/occ-31.pdf
. How can the NJDOH assist health care providers to recognize and report cases of WRA? 1. The WRA Project Coordinator can assist you with WRA case classification. 2. If you have clinical questions, we can provide you with a list of specialists to assist you with the diagnosis of WRA. 3. Our Industrial Hygienists can provide telephone consultations regarding conditions and exposures at your patient's workplace that may be associated with WRA. 4. We can provide you and your patient with educational materials to assist in the evaluation and control of WRA. What happens after a case of WRA is reported to the NJDOH? 1. We will contact your patient (unless you request us not to do so) to collect information about the conditions at work that contributed to his/her WRA. During the interview, an assessment will be made with the patient about whether we should contact his/her employer to offer assistance in the evaluation and control of exposures associated with WRA. 2. If an industrial hygiene evaluation of the workplace is deemed appropriate, a NJDOH Industrial Hygienist will conduct a site visit to assist the employer in controlling exposures, with the aim of preventing additional workers from developing WRA. We will also invite you to accompany us on the site visit, and will provide you with a copy of the Industrial Hygiene report of findings and recommendations. The name of your patient will not be revealed without the patient's permission. 3. Educational materials on WRA, tailored specifically to the work processes and agents associated with the reported case, will be provided to your patient and his/her employer. 4. Data from the case reports are analyzed regularly to identify industries, causative agents, and occupations associated with WRA. We use this information to target intervention activities aimed at high-risk industries or particular agents known to cause WRA.