Surveillance Program PPOP

What are our priorities?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Surveillance Program works with partners to

  • Expand awareness, knowledge, and use of occupational safety and health (OSH) surveillance data.
  • Build capacity for state-based OSH surveillance.
  • Integrate OSH variables into general health surveillance systems and Occupational Data for Health (ODH) into health information technology (IT) systems.
  • Support industry health and safety surveillance needs and address cross-cutting surveillance issues.
What do we do?
  • Examine surveillance trends by visualizing data from state and federal partners. Examples include absenteeism in the workplace (fig 2), mine and mine worker charts, and workplace lead exposure trends.
  • Increase state capacity to conduct case-based surveillance of priority occupational injuries and illnesses and collect OSH variables.
  • Identify novel sources of surveillance data, such as audiometric (hearing) data, workers’ compensation data, and absenteeism data.
What have we accomplished?
  • Assessed prevalence of mental health conditions and other indicators of worker well-being in multiple healthcare occupations, (BRFSS 2017-2019).
  • Trained state and 2 city health departments to collect industry and occupation (I/O) for COVID-19 cases and other infectious diseases.
  • Added a guide on the NIOSH website for funeral directors to record I/O data on death certificates.
  • Created data visualizations of changes in workplace lead exposure trends.
  • Completed study of non-coal miners’ exposures to respirable crystalline silica.
  • Established a collaboration with the Center for Medical Interoperability (C4MI) to receive daily personal protective equipment (PPE) surveillance data from 78 hospitals across the U.S. to monitor supply and demand over a 15-week demonstration period (fig 3).
What’s next?
  • Expand the NIOSH Worker Health Charts by adding data from the National Occupational Mortality Surveillance program, oil and gas worker fatalities surveillance, and commercial fishing.
  • Expand ODH data collection in EHRs and REDCap patient surveys through partnerships with community health centers and an academic medical center.
  • Refresh and expand the NIOSH lead topic page with new information about take-home lead exposure.
  • Upgrade NIOCCS to the latest I/O coding classification schemes to better code emerging industries and occupations.
  • Prepare a video to train funeral directors on how to collect more useful industry and occupation information on death certificates.
  • Publish a paper assessing work and health equity variables collected in CDC surveillance systems.
  • Develop visualizations to demonstrate PPE supply and demand by respirator model and manufacturer.
  • Publish PPE inventory shared by hospitals to enhance emergency preparedness at local, state, and national levels.

Mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


The Surveillance Program improves the understanding of worker safety and health by identifying and tracking workplace injuries, illnesses, hazards, deaths, and exposures in the United States. This snapshot shows recent accomplishments and upcoming activities.

Fig 1: Cumulative Number of Records Submitted* to NIOCCS
Line graph showing a significant increase in the amount of records submitted to NIOCCs, going from about 18,000 in 2016 to 95, 000 in 2021

*Includes both internal and external user submissions, crosswalks, and I/O coding. One record = I/O descriptive text converted into standardized code. Source: NIOSH Program Records

Line graph comparing health related workplace absences for the current influence season and previous seasons. The current season saw a dramatic increase during January 2022.

January 2022 saw a dramatic increase in workplace absences, which coincides with the increase in the COVID-19 Omicron variant. Data Source: CPS

Fig 3: Hospitals Participating in Surveillance to Monitor PPE Supply and Demand, by State*
Map of the U.S showing where hospitals that participate in PPE monitoring are located. Texas, Florida, Illinois, and Alabama have the greatest number of hospitals participating

*From June – September 2020, 78 hospitals participated; the larger the red dot, the higher the number of participating hospitals in that state. Data Source: C4MI

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October 2022