State Occupational Health & Safety Surveillance Program
Each year, millions of workers in the United States are injured on the job or become ill as a result of exposure to health hazards at work. In 2018, 5,250 U.S. workers died from occupational injuries according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summaryexternal icon. Although deaths from work-related illnesses are more difficult to count, a 2011 publicationexternal icon estimated that 53,445 work-related deaths occur annually.
In 2018external icon, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that employers reported approximately 2.8 million nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses to private industry workers. Work-related injuries and illnesses result in substantial human and economic costs for workers, families, employers, and society as a whole. A 2011 publicationexternal icon estimated that the direct and indirect costs of work-related injuries and illnesses exceed $250 billion annually.
Achievements in reducing fatal and nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses emphasize the importance of continued tracking and monitoring, research, and intervention activities in surveillance. Work-related injuries and illnesses can be prevented, and successful approaches to making workplaces safer and healthier begin with having the data necessary to understand the problem. As part of its mission to prevent work-related injury, illness, disability, and death caused by hazards in the workplace, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NIOSH conducts surveillance to assess the extent and severity of workplace injury, illness, disability, and death to identify workers and occupations at greatest risk, to develop research and prevention priorities, and to measure the effectiveness of prevention activities.
State Role in Occupational Safety and Health Surveillance
NIOSH recognized the key importance of state public health approaches to addressing occupational health problems and began funding pilot surveillance programs in a limited number of state health departments in the 1970’s. State public health agencies have a critical and complementary role in the prevention of occupational injury, illness, disability and death. State agencies apply public health approaches to identify problems, target interventions, and evaluate programs to reduce occupational illness, injury, disability, and death in order to protect the health of working people. These agencies are uniquely positioned to use state-specific data sources and link surveillance findings with intervention outreach activities within their jurisdictions.
NIOSH has funded a variety of approaches to build state capacity OSH, ranging from the development of population-based and case-based surveillance systems, to creating focused public health interventions addressing the occupational safety and health (OSH) needs of high-risk populations such as minorities and teen workers. State programs demonstrate that effective surveillance of occupational injury, illness, disability, and death embraces the concept of “information for action” by ensuring that collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of health data are linked to prevention and control activities. In addition, state surveillance systems and activities provide a vital foundation for several federal surveillance systems and augment others.
NIOSH has used cooperative research agreement funding mechanisms to fund approximately ten state surveillance programs since 2000, and by 2009, the number of funded states increased from 15 to 23. NIOSH provided financial and technical assistance to state health and labor agencies to develop or expand state surveillance program capacity and technical infrastructure. Examples include addition of epidemiologists and other technical staff, training and continuing education, informatics or methods improvements, contracting for specialized statistical and communications expertise, and purchase of statistical software.
The primary purpose of NIOSH’s state surveillance program is to provide financial and technical support to states and other eligible jurisdictions for the development or expansion of an OSH surveillance program. Through this program, NIOSH seeks to strengthen OSH surveillance within states and other eligible jurisdictions that will provide information that will help drive actions to improve the health of workers in the United States.
NIOSH supports the use of existing surveillance data and the collection of new surveillance data to better define the current health of the state’s workforce, target relevant worker populations at risk, develop relevant interventions, and initiate and enhance partnerships within, and beyond, the state’s surveillance community. NIOSH also supports the advancement of state surveillance systems to enable the future use of new or newly emerging electronic surveillance data sources and to participate in the development of the data sources and data exchange methods. NIOSH strongly encourages state surveillance programs to engage directly in activities and initiatives related to the collection, exchange, and use of electronic health data.
States are expected to be innovative in the dissemination and communication of products that they develop. Whenever possible, communication products should inform measurable surveillance data findings and related public health actions that include recommendations for prevention, interventions, policies, and communications that advance the integration of proven health and safety strategies into targeted workplaces by organizations both within and outside of traditional occupational health. A key goal is to build partnerships among surveillance programs and health agencies, and other organizations and stakeholders that engage in occupational safety and health surveillance or can be leveraged to improve surveillance.
NIOSH expects state surveillance programs to:
- Identify, access, and analyze data that can be used to conduct surveillance of work-related injuries, illnesses, exposures, and fatalities.
- Use findings for the calculation of incidence and/or prevalence of occupational injuries, illnesses, exposures, and fatalities, including calculation of occupational health indicators (OHIs).
- Allow recipients to be resourceful and proactive in identifying and accessing untapped data sources for surveillance, which may include creating linkages between data sources.
- Identify surveillance trends, emerging issues and diseases, high-risk occupations, industries, and worker populations.
- Establish and address state and NIOSH program priorities for follow-up activities, including more in-depth data surveillance and outreach, prevention, and intervention programs.
- Develop a broad network of partners who can assist in identifying data appropriate for surveillance and disseminating results.
- Establish and maintain an advisory committee, or other process(es) to obtain stakeholder input and to identify relevant state-specific issues and priorities for surveillance.
- Apply current technologies to develop and communicate audience-specific educational materials, outreach, and other resources for optimizing their uptake, adoption, or adaptation for protecting workers.
- Allow recipients to develop strategic and organizational activities to foster and ensure a competent surveillance program within the state infrastructure.
- Find ways to foster the integration of occupational safety and health into broader public health goals and objectives (such as infectious and chronic disease).
- Develop workplace interventions and create links to policy initiatives that may impact worker health and safety in their state.
The current 26 state surveillance portfolio of cooperative agreements funded from 2015-2021 consists of 8 Fundamental, 11 Fundamental-Plus, and 7 Expanded Programs. These 26 states contain about 72% of the civilian labor force and include 18 of the 26 most populated states in the United States. State surveillance programs are managed by 19 state health departments (73%) 2 state Departments of Labor (8%), and 5 bona fide agents (19%), which involve partnerships between state health departments and universities. The portfolio includes approximately 49 projects addressing work-related morbidity and mortality, exposure reduction, and worker populations of special interest, including underserved populations.
State Program Description
The Occupational Health Branch (OHB) of the California Department of Public Health (CDPHexternal icon) will implement an Expanded Program to reduce the incidence of work-related injury and illness by maintaining and enhancing the capacity for occupational health surveillance and intervention in California. The Expanded Program includes both the required Occupational Health Indicator (OHI) component, as well as three Priority Focus Areas (work-related asthma, fatalities, and pesticide illness) that will build on our 27-year history of continuous NIOSH-funded cooperative agreement for OHS surveillance.
The Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance Program aims to detect and monitor occupational injury/illness trends, integrate occupational health into mainstream public health policy, design and implement state-wide occupational injury and illness prevention strategies, and provide consultation for workers and employers not effectively covered by other government resources. The program will build upon its successes in the current funding cycle. Enhanced surveillance will provide the data needed to document the magnitude of OSH issues, set research priorities, and target and evaluate interventions and policies to improve worker health and safety in Colorado. Specific aims for the program are to: 1) implement sustainable, efficient, and timely surveillance systems to detect and monitor occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities in Colorado, 2) design and implement statewide occupational injury and illness outreach and prevention strategies, and 3) integrate occupational health into mainstream public health action, response, and policy in Colorado. This program will contribute to the mission of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment by protecting and improving the health of Colorado’s citizens through the identification of trends, emerging issues, high-risk occupations, industries, and worker populations that affect the health, safety and quality of life of the over two million Colorado workers and their families.
The primary objective of the Connecticut Occupational Health Fundamental-Plus Surveillance Program is to maintain capacity for enhanced occupational illness and injury surveillance at the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH). This includes more in-depth data analysis and investigation, and utilizing the results of data collection and analyses to target specific intervention activities. Established information exchange between CT DPH and our partners within our state, regionally, and nationally is a critical component of the continued success of our program, and will be maintained through this project. The objective above will be achieved through continuation and expansion of longitudinal analysis of occupational illness and injury under-reporting in Connecticut, continuation of population-based surveillance activities through longitudinal analysis of all 21 occupational health indicators for Connecticut, continuation surveillance, investigation, and outreach activities related to adult lead poisonings, in-depth surveillance, investigation, and intervention activities for workplace chemical inhalation exposures and development of indicator methodology for similar examination by other states, and collaboration with the Connecticut Occupational Health Clinics Workgroup and regional occupational health partners from the other Northeast states. These specific aims have been developed to continue to expand our capacity for occupational illness and injury surveillance and to maintain continuity in our surveillance and intervention programs for the duration of the project period. These programs and the staff they support provide the basis for the protection of worker health in our state, through surveillance and intervention activities and making our program activities more efficient, effective, and beneficial to the Connecticut workforce.
The goal of the Occupational Health and Safety Program (OHSP) at the Florida Department of Health (DOH) is to reduce work-related morbidity/mortality in Florida. OHSP will conduct surveillance of occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities; disseminate results of findings to stakeholders; increase partnerships within DOH and throughout the state where key issues can be discussed and collaboration can take place; develop prevention and intervention efforts that may increase the safety of Florida workplaces; and enhance and maintain a focus on the construction industry through surveillance, research, and intervention activities with a special emphasis on fatalities. In addition, OHSP will re-establish adult blood lead poisoning outreach, investigation, and intervention support to county health department epidemiologists.
A number of datasets are currently used by OHSP for surveillance activities including hospitalization and emergency department visit records, death certificates, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, Florida Trauma Registry, and workers’ compensation. OHSP plans to identify fatality events through media reports, workers’ compensation first report of injuries, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection records. OHSP will contract with a university partner to interview construction workers and contractors to identify risk factors for falls among Hispanic residential construction workers. Results from this project will be used to identify focus areas for interventions.
DOH plans to develop reports, fact sheets, manuscripts, presentations, and outreach and education materials highlighting findings. Partnerships with various private, not-for-profit, and governmental organizations will be leveraged to distribute products to employers and employees.
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) will conduct a Fundamental Surveillance Program for occupational health and safety. The aims of this application are to provide ongoing collection and analysis of the 20 occupational health indicators and to explore existing data sources to identify research and prevention priorities for informing partners, stakeholders, policy makers, and the public about leading causes of morbidity and mortality related to occupational injuries and illnesses in Georgia. The Georgia DPH will maintain surveillance of occupational injuries, illnesses, and hazards in Georgia and to conduct outreach activities on work-related blood lead exposures; establish a comprehensive work-related pesticide poisoning surveillance program in Southwest Georgia; and conduct a statewide Worksite Wellness Survey. The Occupational Health Surveillance project will collect the 20 indicators recommended by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologist (CSTE). DPH Occupational Health Surveillance (OH) program will leverage the use of existing and non-traditional data sources, such the Georgia Violent Death Reporting System and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. These data sources will contribute to state and local prevention efforts and add to national data regarding the magnitude and trends of occupational health morbidity and mortality
Workplace injury and illness comes with personal, health, and economic costs for workers, businesses, and communities. The overall goal of occupational surveillance is prevention. Illinois is the 5th largest state with more than 6 million people who go to work in every sector of the economy. This cooperative agreement continues a dynamic occupational surveillance programexternal icon among a university, state agencies, OSHA, employers, worker advocates, attorneys, enforcers, and other stakeholders. Specific aims are to: enhance the use of Federal and State data sources for occupational surveillance with a particular focus on low wage, immigrant, minority, and contingent workers and employees of small businesses; test hypotheses by analyzing secondary data and using mixed methods approaches and advanced quantitative statistical methods aimed at primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of severe occupational injuries; re-establish the adult lead poisoning prevention program in Illinois; and improve sustainability of an active occupational surveillance program in Illinois by embedding academic personnel at state agencies, producing state-approved publications, co-authoring manuscripts, jointly attending national occupational surveillance meetings, training the next wave of public/occupational health professionals, and collaborating with local health departments, employers and worker advocates to set priorities and initiate
The long-term goal of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPHexternal icon) Occupational Health & Safety Surveillance Program (OHSSP) is to promote and protect the health and safety of Iowa’s 1.7 million workers. The objectives are to track and trend occupational data relevant to identified risks and hazards of greatest importance for Iowa workers and to provide the data for the development of technical and lay recommendations that may prevent occupational illness or injury. Surveillance program outputs will include: Calculation and submission of a minimum of 20 Occupational Health Indicators; Development of a new OHI related to motorized roadway fatalities; Collection of adult blood lead test data with follow back and data submission annually to NIOSH; Analysis of the 2014 BRFSS Iowa data involving industry and occupation, and Partnership and reporting of a Midwest Tri-State data project with Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Kentucky ranks as the 7th-worst state for nonfatal occupational injuries/illnesses, and 14th-worst state for fatal occupational injury rates. The overall Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Surveillance (KOSHSexternal icon) expended program (KOSHS fundamental, Occupational Health Indicator [OHI], and Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation [FACE] component programs) focuses on population-based and case-based surveillance of work-related injuries/illnesses (WII) in Kentucky, a southeastern HHS Region 4 state. Specific aims are to perform population-based WII surveillance using 21 NIOSH-recommended OHI, 6 Kentucky-specific OHI, FACE, and other surveillance data, including new data source evaluation; perform case-based WII surveillance through FACE on-site investigations and high adult blood lead level follow-up investigations; conduct epidemiological analyses of WII surveillance and investigation data; establish and maintain partnerships/collaborations that integrate KOSHS results with partners’ intervention and outreach activities; participate in the KOSHS advisory committee and attend semiannual grantee meetings; disseminate occupational injury/illness data and research results; and perform a process, impact, and outcome evaluation of the overall KOSHS expanded program. Novel industries and occupations targeted in the KOSHS program include highway incident management and truck transportation. KOSHS will also have an innovative emphasis on work-related severe traumatic injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and concussions. Advanced statistical methodologies such as probabilistic data linkage and multiple imputation will be used, and surveillance data quality improvement studies will be performed. Innovative integration of the KOSHS program with NIOSH Total Worker Health®, Safe Communities, CDC-funded Violence and Injury Prevention Programs, and National Safety Council are planned.
New funding will enhance the Louisiana Occupational Health and Injury Surveillance Program’s occupational health surveillance capacity: expanded outreach and prevention activities will occur by leveraging the resources, skills and expertise of its network of partners and stakeholders and its active population surveillance system will be improved through acquisition of new sources of occupational health data and development of targeted surveillance for priority issues impacting Louisiana’s workforce. The program will also continue to play a key public health role in identifying and responding to emerging and emergent occupational hazards and issues. The overall goal of the surveillance system is to improve worker safety and health through surveillance data that identify high risk occupations and industries, emerging issues, and trends and to promote the use of these data to reduce occupational injuries, diseases, and mortality through targeted prevention actions. Specific proposal aims include: continue to acquire, analyze and interpret occupational health indicator data, including follow-up investigation of elevated blood lead cases; develop and implement targeted surveillance system for occupational heat-related illness, including collection of causes and risk factors; respond to emerging and emergent events that impact Louisiana workers; periodically compile and analyze surveillance data and prepare reports, publications, and presentations; continue to interact regularly with partners and stakeholders to prioritize relevant issues for Louisiana workers, disseminate findings, and develop prevention strategies and interventions based on surveillance findings; participate in the bi-monthly Louisiana Workplace Safety Task Force meetings and conduct quarterly program advisory meetings; evaluate and improve program performance; and participate in NIOSH meetings and other activities.
In partnership with other State agencies and nongovernmental organizations, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) seeks to create an expanded Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance Project (OHSSP), focused on three projects: (1) improving and expanding the occupational health indicators (OHls) reported in the previous project period, with enhancements to the existing data sets, evaluation and addition of new data sources; (2) expanding outreach and education efforts in partnership with stakeholders to effect reductions in work-related illness and injury generally, and in specific priority areas (falls, traumatic brain injuries, and motor vehicle accidents); (3) evaluate the prevalence of prescription opiate use in workers’ compensation cases and conduct an in-depth analysis of the association between use of prescription opiates and return to work and subsequent injury; and (4) conduct an educational intervention with providers focused on the State’s new Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (POMP) in order to increase enrollment in and utilization of the POMP. This project has significant implications for the health of Maryland workers and for the national workforce. It uses enhanced state surveillance data to improve ongoing education and outreach prevention programs. Moreover, the focus on prescription pain medication may improve our understanding of the role of pain medication in occupational injuries and fatalities as well as evaluating possible strategies for their control.
Since the 1980’s, with substantial support from NIOSH and others, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH)external icon has built a successful Expanded Occupational Health Surveillance Program (OHSP). OHSP has developed comprehensive case-based surveillance and intervention systems for a number of priority health conditions including work related fatality assessment, respiratory diseases, and youth and hospital workers. A system for responding to urgent sentinel occupational health events is in place, as is a unique statewide system for surveillance of sharps injuries to hospital workers. The OHSP has expanded its capacity to use the growing number of population-based health data sets to characterize work-related health problems in the state, and annually generates 23 state Occupational Health Indicators. Committed to using data for action, OHSP collaborates with multiple agency and community partners to address identified health and safety problems. OHSP activities have resulted in changes in individual worksites and contributed to both broad-based policy changes and technological innovations to reduce workplace risks and, in turn, to reductions in the incidence of several targeted occupational health outcomes.
Michigan State University in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has been conducting state-based occupational injury and illness surveillance since 1988. The new award from CDC NIOSH will fund activity to generate the occupational indicators and surveillance programs for four specific conditions: (1) occupational lung disease; (2) acute work-related pesticide illness; (3) work-related acute traumatic non-fatal injuries; and 4) work-related acute traumatic fatalities. Major sources of data include reports from hospitals, emergency departments, clinics, individual health care providers, the state’s poison control center, the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Agency and death certificates. Follow-back industrial hygiene inspections will be conducted, and fellow workers interviewed during these inspections. Annual reports for each of the conditions under surveillance will be written. A quarterly newsletter will be prepared and mailed out to approximately 3,300 targeted physicians and health care professionals. The above active outreach to encourage reporting will be continued as well as presentations and display booths at medical meetings and working with other state organizations such as the medical licensing board to publicize Michigan’s occupational disease reporting law. Information about the data collected will also be publishing in the medical literature, via our website, Twitter, Facebook, and the NIOSH Science Blog. Expanded efforts to develop hazard alerts for specific hazards, special populations and industrial sectors will be initiated. Evaluation of the effectiveness of our effort to improve working conditions will be conducted.
A strategic surveillance goal of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is to strengthen the capacity of state health departments to conduct occupational surveillance and related prevention activities. This project will enhance the capacity of the Minnesota Department of Healthexternal icon to promote occupational health and safety through surveillance of a core set of occupational health indicators and dissemination of the findings to appropriate stateholders for use in setting priorities for education and prevention activities. The aims of this program include: (1) Develop a broad profile of occupational health in Minnesota through the assesment of 21 Occupational Health Indicators; (2) Collaborate with agencies, organizations, and individuals who can provide and/or utilize occupational surveillance data; (3) Disseminate and publish surveillance data; (4) Collaborate with the Minnesota Asthma Program to implement strategies for education and prevention of work-related asthma; (5) Establish and maintain an advisory group; (6) Collect, analyze, and evaluate indicators of the rates and costs of serious agricultural injuries in Minnesota; (7) Analyze and evaluate data from the MN BRFSS program to identify relationships between employment in specific industries and occupations and various health behaviors and conditions; and (8) Collaborate with occupational health programs in Iowa and Wisconsin to identify issues, priorities, and potential prevention activities common to the Upper Midwest.
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) Office of Health Data and Research (OHDR)external icon implements a “Fundamental Program” type Occupational Health Surveillance (OHS) Program. The purpose of the MSDH OHS Program is to establish and maintain an occupational health surveillance system for the state of Mississippi (MS) that identifies and tracks workplace health risks, safety, exposures, and health effects. The program utilizes these data to increase understanding of how the workplace impacts the health and lives of Mississippians and develop informed outreach and prevention activities and policy change. This program collaborates with internal and external partners to execute the following programmatic goals: (1) compile, analyze, and interpret occupational health data for 21 occupational health indicators (OHIs); (2) identify work-related injury, illness, and exposure trends; (3) develop and implement program priorities; and (4) develop recommendations and outreach activities throughout MS. The MSDH OHS Program collaborates with NIOSH and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) to produce and disseminate data on the extent of the occupational burden. The surveillance data are presented in audience-specific forms and contain information on trends, emerging issues, risk, and worker populations. The information is used to make strides in occupational health surveillance by: (1) raising public awareness of occupational risks and exposures; (2) educating workers, employers, and health care providers to ensure the underserved populations of MS are reached; (3) collaborating with other state and local programs to integrate public health activity; and (4) targeting intervention activities, prevention activities, and policy guidance. The MSDH OHS Program is working to develop and explore new, state-specific data sources in collaboration with state and/or local data stewards and strategic partners. Developing new data sources will enhance the program by creating a comprehensive data set that increases knowledge and understanding of the true burden of occupational risks among Mississippians. It is expected that the program will allow public health entities to develop and deliver sustainable, informed, and targeted outreach and prevention activities.
The overall goal of the Montana Occupational Health & Safety Surveillance Program (MOHSS) is to improve the health and safety of workers in Montana by sharing data and research on critical occupational health issues. The specific aims of the MOHSS program are to: 1) report occupational health indicators annually, 2) assess data quality in occupational health data sources, 3) create new data sources for occupational health surveillance, 4) form a steering committee to review and discuss activities, 5) provide information and support for prevention and intervention programs, 6) establish a state occupational health surveillance website, 7) perform occupational health research and share results, and 8) participate in occupational health meetings and conferences.
The purpose of this project is to conduct occupational health surveillance within the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Servicesexternal icon. We will collect, analyze, and interpret occupational health and safety data to determine the causes, conditions, and trends of occupational injuries, illnesses, and exposures. We will also collaborate with stakeholders and disseminate information necessary to assess the magnitude of occupational morbidity and mortality, set research priorities, develop policies, and target interventions. Our project will enhance the capacity for occupational health and safety activities within the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The Nebraska Occupational Safety and Health Surveillance Program will be better positioned to investigate and address the health and safety needs of Nebraska’s workforce. We will also strengthen the NIOSH state-based occupational health surveillance extramural research program by generating new knowledge on occupational injuries and illnesses in Nebraska, the region, and the U.S. Our work will also build partnerships with other NIOSH-funded programs in Nebraska and in the region related to agricultural health and safety and Total Worker Health. We will also generate new occupational health surveillance reports, publications, and presentations, and we will disseminate these materials to stakeholders. We expect our project will improve reporting systems for occupational injury/illness, enhance the knowledge of the causes and conditions of workplace morbidity and mortality, increase workforce capacity in Nebraska, and facilitate new policies and recommendations for the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses.
The primary aim of this application is to expand state-based capacity for occupational health surveillance in New Hampshireexternal icon, with a focus on integrating occupational health into mainstream public health through emphasis on intervention and prevention. Summary objectives include: Assess the extent and severity of workplace injuries, illnesses, deaths, hazards and/or exposures; Collect, analyze, and interpret a minimum of 15 of the core occupational health indicators; Address the utility and limitations of existing data sources for collecting and analyzing occupational illnesses and injuries; Expand surveillance activities to include analysis of unconventional data sources from other agencies and organizations; Develop methodology and capacity for enhanced occupational health surveillance; Identify workers and occupations at greatest risk through data collection of industry, occupation, and work status; Develop research and prevention (program) policies through partnerships with public health and non-public health organizations. Data sources include administrative health data sets such as hospital discharge data, birth and death data, cancer data, and claims data. Exploration of non-public health administrative data sets includes poison center data, commercial vehicle crash data, emergency medical services, and surveys. We will publish topic specific results of our studies in state-level press releases, peer-reviewed journals, trade association journals and magazines, state health alert systems, and will submit “success stories” to various national public health newsletters and organization websites. An outcome of information dissemination and education is an increased use of occupational health data by our stakeholders. A more educated stakeholder population is more successful in implementing prevention strategies and effecting policy change.
The NJDOH Occupational Health Surveillance Unitexternal icon will continue its long and successful collaborative relationship with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Over a million non‐fatal work‐related injuries and illnesses have been reported by NJ employers between 2000 and 2010. NJ’s annual incidence rates decreased to 3,200 injuries per 100,000 FTEs in 2010, which were lower than the US rates. The injuries and illnesses proposed for surveillance include the occupational health indicators (OHIs) identified by NIOSH and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE). Surveillance indicators allow a state to compare its health or risk status with that of other states and evaluate trends over time within the state, and guide priorities for prevention and intervention efforts, such as preventing burns among Hispanic youths. Population‐based surveillance of specified OHIs will be conducted in order to estimate their magnitude and trends particularly in vulnerable populations. Surveillance, case follow‐up and interventions of elevated heavy metals exposure, including lead, among adults will also be proposed. Also, using the state’s hospital discharge data, project staff will compose a picture of the frequency of occupational related burns among vulnerable populations. Based on this knowledge, intervention strategies can be devised to reach at‐risk populations. Finally, a new Occupational Health Indicator will also be developed for occupational eye injuries (OEIs) and submitted to CSTE for adoption and implementation in applicable states to expand surveillance of occupational injuries.
The NMOHSP program will achieve focused surveillance and response by innovative uses of existing data sources already in use for occupational health surveillance and the exploration of new data sources, such as emergency department data; by the formation of new partnerships with industry and nurturing existing partnerships; and through the creative use of electronic technologies and strategic partnerships for outreach. This project is specifically contributing to the establishment of New Mexico’s Fundamental Plus Surveillance, which builds on the previous surveillance system. Outputs and intermediate outcomes will need to be identified (see next section for more details). However, depending on the data analyzed and the logic model developed, outputs may include: newsletter/factsheet, magnets for oil and gas company vehicles, an online regional map (surveillance findings: injuries & fatalities) as supplements to existing training/safety programs. The audiences for these outputs will include NM occupational specialists, and oil & gas workers and gas companies/managers.
New York State (NYS) Department of Healthexternal icon continues to conduct occupational health surveillance and intervention in NYS. NYS is the third most populous state, with over 8.9 million full-time employees in 2012. Recognizing that many occupational hazards and adverse health outcomes overlap other public health programs, the Bureau of Occupational Health and Injury Prevention (BOHIP) will work on incorporating occupational health into other public health initiatives. We will continue and enhance our surveillance efforts, and translate past successes into the development and implementation of occupational prevention, intervention and outreach activities. Data collected by BOHIP will be incorporated into other public health tracking systems including the Occupational Health Indicators project, the NYS Prevention Agenda, the NYS Community Data Clearinghouse and the NYS Environmental Public Health Tracking Program. These data will be further evaluated to identify high-risk industries, occupations, and other high-risk populations. BOHIP will continue to collect, follow up and monitor adult blood lead data reported to the Heavy Metals Registry. Collaboration with the NYS Childhood Lead Program will ensure prompt identification of lead poisoned pregnant women and follow-up of their newborns. BOHIP will continue and strengthen its effort in preventing serious and fatal occupational injuries through the NYS Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program. BOHIP maintains an Occupational Lung Disease Registry and will use this registry to continue and expand surveillance for occupational lung diseases in NYS by continuing and improving case ascertainment and through the development of education, prevention, and intervention activities.
The goal of the North Carolina Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance Fundamental-Plus Program is to enhance population-based surveillance capacity of work-related injury and illness in North Carolina. The aims of the program are to: assess health risk through the collection and analysis of occupational illness and injury data; promote occupational health policy and program developments through partnerships; and assure the protection of the workforce through intervention and prevention strategies. The objectives to accomplish these aims are to: routinely collect and analyze occupational health injury and illness indicator data using existing federal, state, and case-based datasets related to identified priority areas; identify trends and priority areas needing further investigation; use additional secondary and primary data sources beyond indicator data to study priority areas and help identify injury risk factors; develop reports and communicate findings; maintain and continue developing a committed network of in-state and out-of-state collaborators to help build state surveillance capacity and promote multistate regional collaboration; implement data-driven interventions that focus on high risk groups and conditions; assemble a multidisciplinary team of in-house occupational safety and health professionals to provide investigation and outreach services; and promote enforcement of state regulations by evaluating the effectiveness of regulatory programs designed to reduce workplace injury risks. Major outputs include publications, data summaries and reports; education and outreach materials and targeted outreach campaigns; an increased number of completed chemical exposure case investigations and cases reported; and program status reports and updates. Activities will increase knowledge and awareness of occupational risk factors and prevention strategies among North Carolinians, inform specific efforts to improve regulatory policy and adaptation of risk-reduction behaviors among workers, and ultimately decrease occupational injury, illness, and death in North Carolina.
The Oregon Occupational Public Health Programexternal icon aims to reduce occupational illness and injury through surveillance, analysis and investigation, in addition to developing and disseminating prevention recommendations and interventions. Oregon excels in cultivating partnerships and conducting surveillance and occupational health education/outreach. The Program is a strategic partnership between the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Health & Science University with guidance from an advisory board of government, industry, and stakeholders. Our model has produced coordination among stakeholders with allied missions, including formal state-level collaborative agreements. In Oregon, work-related illnesses and injuries decreased by 40% between 2000 and 2011. However, occupational injuries continue, with workers’ compensation costs exceeding half-a-billion dollars annually. The program’s innovative research strategy will provide leadership for state-level occupational public health initiatives and programs and strive towards creating action through partnerships, technologies, and novel research methods. Our expanded program includes surveillance and outreach innovations in both Occupational Health Indicators and Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) projects. The overarching goal is to provide quality data and intervention recommendations to safety professionals who can take action to promote workplace safety and health. We propose an innovative overall strategy to: (1) Implement an expanded vision and strategic plan to advance occupational public health surveillance, research, and outreach in Oregon; (2) Support the success and growth of state-level occupational health initiatives and programs; (3) Invest in innovative areas for future occupational health surveillance research through speaker series and conference panels; and (4) Develop and implement surveillance and outreach innovations in OHI and OR-FACE sub-projects.
The goal of the Tennessee Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance Program (TN-OHSSP) is to reduce the incidence of occupation-related injuries and illnesses and improve the health and safety of all Tennessee workers.
TN-OHSSP identifies several specific aims for the program, identified below:
- Compile, analyze and assess surveillance data for all available Occupational Health Indicators (OHIs).
- Monitor OHI trends and progress over time; evaluate potential causes and effects of changes in indicators and outcomes.
- Develop methods and outputs, converting data to action in order to identify priorities and guide efforts to improve and protect worker safety and health.
- Incorporate occupational health-related initiatives into broader public health programs.
- Collaborate with public and private sector partners through outreach and information-sharing.
- Participate in meaningful professional development and capacity-building activities.
The purpose of the project is to build on the existing occupational health and safety surveillance program in Texas by making it more comprehensive. The Texas program surveillance system is intended to provide information essential to protecting workers by determining underlying causes of injuries and illnesses in the workplace, investigating workplace practices, directing intervention strategies, and evaluating the effectiveness of those strategies. Texas DSHS project objectives follow: Conduct population-based occupational health and safety surveillance for all occupational health indicators (OHIs) in order to estimate their magnitude and trends in Texas, as well as conduct more in-depth analyses of occupational health data; Explore new data sources to increase surveillance efforts, strengthen collaborations across agencies, departments, and with private and local partners, and augment outreach and prevention activities within Texas; and, Conduct in-depth investigation activities pertaining to the priority topic of acute occupational pesticide-related illness and injury in Texas. Expected outputs include surveillance research reports, peer and trade publications, education and training materials, OHI data sets for NIOSH and CSTE, and program capacity building.
The human and economic costs of occupational injury and illness (OII) in Washington State are unacceptable. In order to reduce the burden of OII, state occupational health programs need to bring together information from research findings, scientific literature, injury and illness data, worker and company activities, and industry practices to inform and educate stakeholders, government officials, and the general public to ensure evidence-based safety and health prevention programs and public policy. Washington’s OII surveillance program intends to provide timely relevant, accurate public health data and information to those who need to know. To accomplish these ends we propose the following: 1) Identify surveillance, research and prevention opportunities through advisory committee input, occupational injury and illness data, and emerging opportunities for safety and health action; 2) Implement a comprehensive state-based surveillance program addressing traumatic injuries, work-related musculoskeletal disorders, high risk industries for occupational injury and illness, occupational respiratory disease, and hazardous occupational exposures; 3) Develop and use additional data sources for novel approaches to OII surveillance, including the development of an annual measure of worker self-reported OII and continuing to maximize use of Washington’s unique workers compensation data for surveillance; 4) Influence public policy, the safety and health actions of others, and prevent workplace injury and illness through the use of state-based occupational injury and illness data, surveillance and research program outputs; and 5) Grow partnerships with our academic, state and federal partners to reduce OII. The expected outputs from all programs include peer-reviewed papers, state technical reports, enduring materials for prevention and education and news releases. The expected intermediate outcomes are distribution of our outputs by external organizations, use of our research findings to spur additional research, and use of our surveillance data to set standards and guide policy.
Since 2000, with support from National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) grants, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Occupational Health (OH) Program has been working to collect, analyze and disseminate data on work-related illness, injury and deaths that occur in Wisconsin. Strong collaborations between the Wisconsin DHS OH Program and key stakeholders have already been established and we will continue to cultivate new partnerships to expand current surveillance and capacity. Wisconsin has had a long-term commitment.to extensive, ongoing, data collection systems and we will continue to use these currently existing resources as part of our occupational health surveillance system. Our goal is to continue occupational surveillance activities in order to further reduce injuries and illnesses suffered by Wisconsin workers. Proposed expansion activities for our program include addressing the utility of current data sources, exploring new ones, cultivating new partnerships, developing additional region-specific indicators, seeking new partners, enhancing current processes and conducting a focused investigation of occupational injuries and illnesses to young workers under the age of 25. By developing and distributing information, we will increase awareness not only of occupational hazards and safety but also of our role in workplace health and safety. Finally, we will enlist current partners and utilize knowledge in order to encourage those new to public health to develop an awareness and understanding of occupational illness, injury and death as a public health issue. It is our aim to provide occupational health leadership in the state of Wisconsin and be a resource for information and interventions that will prevent workplace hazards from occurring.
Program achievements featured in the Extramural Research and Training Program Annual Reports
All cooperative agreement funding opportunity announcements can be found at:
- NIOSH Division of Safety Research including Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation/FACE and Center for Motor Vehicle Safety
- NIOSH Center for Workers’ Compensation Studies (CWCS)
- NIOSH Pesticide Surveillance Program
- NIOSH Respiratory Health Division (RHD) including Respiratory Surveillance Program
- NIOSH State-based Occupational Health Surveillance Clearinghouse