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Activities: NIOSH-Funded Research Grants

As part of its mission to prevent injury, illness, and deaths caused by hazards in the workplace, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) established state-based surveillance programs which have helped to enumerate and describe the extent of occupational hazards in the United States. The state-based surveillance programs have identified many problems that require additional research and prevention intervention efforts. Activities by state partners funded by NIOSH are a critical part of the NIOSH surveillance program.

Reports (July 2007–June 2008)

For over 25 years, NIOSH has provided technical and financial assistance to states to develop and/or enhance their occupational safety and health (OSH) surveillance capacity. As part of its state-based surveillance (SBS) program, NIOSH supports basic OSH surveillance which includes collection and dissemination of the Occupational Health Indicators [OHI] (Fundamental programs) as well as Expanded programs which in addition to carrying out activities associated with the Fundamental Program, conduct in-depth investigations and prevention for particular diseases, injuries, hazards, or specific worker populations. Annual Reports submitted to NIOSH provide a summary of the major activities, accomplishments, outputs and impact of 15 previously funded state-based surveillance programs. View the Annual Performance Reports (July 2007-June 2008) .

July 2010 and Forward

For fiscal year 2010, with a budget of nearly $6.5 million, NIOSH continues its integrated approach for the extramural state-based surveillance activities that includes:

  1. a Fundamental program to generate data from existing systems that capture information for at least 13 (out of 19) specific occupational safety and health indicators and the effects on workers; and
  2. an Expanded program for identifying new sources of occupational safety and health data and developing interventions for reducing worker related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.

The state-based surveillance programs funded use existing reporting systems to collect data on occupational safety and health (OSH) hazards and effects; identify new sources of OSH data; conduct surveillance; interpret findings; and develop and/or recommend interventions. Our State partners meet twice a year to share and learn from experiences among States, work through issues of common interest, and to refine state occupational safety and health surveillance activities to maximize impact on worker safety and health.

Newly Funded State-based Surveillance Programs

Beginning July 1, 2010, NIOSH is providing financial and technical assistance for 23 states for a five year project period, July 2010 through June 2015.These programs are administered in either a department of (public) health, department of labor and industries, or a state public health institute. The states receiving a Fundamental program award are Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Texas, and Wisconsin. States with an Expanded program are California, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington. Among the Expanded program, the 26 in-depth topics or Priority Focus Areas (PFAs) can be categorized as follows:

  • Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation [FACE] (9)
  • Pesticide poisoning (5)
  • Asthma (5)
  • Silicosis (2)
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders [MSD] (2)
  • Working Teens (1)
  • Other (2)

Many of the Principal Investigators and Co-Principal Investigators are leaders in Occupational Safety and Health research as evidenced by their appointment to national or regional scientific committees, work groups and/or advisory boards. Preliminary programs descriptions and contact information is provided below.

Programs, Descriptions, and Contact Information

California Occupational Safety and Health Surveillance (Expanded)

The Occupational Health Branch (OHB) of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will implement an Expanded Program of state-based occupational health surveillance that includes both the Occupational Health Indicator (OHI) component, as well as four Priority Focus Areas (work-related asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, fatalities, and pesticide illness). The OHI Component will collect and analyze annual surveillance data for 19 Occupational Health Indicators and an employment demographics profile. Among the specific project goals over the next five years, we will respond to newly identified or emerging occupational hazards (e.g., aerosol transmissible diseases, nanotechnology, new chemical toxicity data) by conducting hazard surveillance, workplace investigations, and/or education and outreach activities; collaborate with labor, employer, and environmental organizations on promoting safer alternatives to toxic chemicals that will benefit workers, the community, and environment; and coordinate the dissemination of a quarterly electronic newsletter, OHB surveillance data, investigation findings, public health recommendations, and educational materials to promote healthier workplaces and a broader recognition of the impact of work on health. The Priority Focus Areas will collect and analyze surveillance data and perform both case-based investigations and targeted interventions for the purposes of making recommendations for prevention. Among the specific project goals over the next five years, we will investigate fatalities among workers in renewable energy production, with prevention recommendations disseminated to workers and employers in these industries (e.g., solar); collaborate with a large health maintenance organization to prevent work-related asthma related to disinfectants, cleaning products, and fragrance exposures; promote the use of safer pesticide alternatives in non-agricultural settings with emphasis on indoor work environments (e.g., offices); and evaluate ergonomic program implementation among employers with multiple cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. In partnership with the CDC/NIOSH, the CDPH will continue to support a national surveillance system for work-related injuries and illnesses, including reporting of nationally notifiable conditions, developing and implementing electronic health records, promoting occupational epidemiology in the Western States, and providing fellowship/trainee opportunities for workforce development.

Project contact: Robert Harrison
(510) 620-5769

Colorado Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Fundamental)

The purpose of this funding is to establish a fundamental, state-based occupational health surveillance program in Colorado. Specific objectives for this program are to conduct basic occupational surveillance activities including the collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of findings on the incidence of occupational injuries, illnesses, deaths, hazards, and exposures in Colorado; identify and interact with advisory board members and other local, state, and federal stakeholders to identify surveillance priority conditions, and identify additional surveillance datasets; identify trends, emerging issues, high-risk occupations, industries, and worker populations based on surveillance data; develop recommendations for workplace interventions, priorities, research, and policy based on surveillance findings; and develop and disseminate data on the magnitude of occupational injuries and illnesses. 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 2.8 million Colorado workers and their families. This program will be based on NIOSH’s guidelines for Minimum and Comprehensive State-Based Public Health Activities in Occupational Safety and Health and will be built on partnerships with NIOSH and Colorado’s occupational health community.

Project contact: Lisa Miller
(303) 692-2662

Connecticut Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Fundamental)

Occupational illnesses and injuries impact the health and family life of tens of thousands, and end the lives of dozens, of workers in Connecticut each year. The specific aims outlined for this occupational public health program have been developed to support the capacity for occupational illness and injury surveillance in our state and for targeted intervention and education programs. This surveillance capacity includes not only our ability to collect and analyze data pertaining to occupational injuries and illnesses through the Connecticut Occupational Illness and Injury Surveillance System (OIISS), but also our ability to utilize the results of those analyses to target specific intervention activities. In addition, established information exchange between CT DPH and our partners with a similar interest in protecting worker health within our state, regionally, and nationally will be maintained as a critical component of the continued success of our program. We propose to achieve this primary objective through activities focused on addressing the specific aims of the proposed project, which are: to continue longitudinal analysis of occupational illness and injury under-reporting in Connecticut through comparison of existing data sources, to continue population-based surveillance activities through longitudinal analysis of the occupational health indicators for Connecticut, to broaden the scope of duties for the Connecticut Occupational Safety and Health Planning and Action Network (OSH-PLAN) to include prioritization of identified occupational health surveillance and intervention goals for our state, to maintain regional collaboration with occupational health partners from the other Northeast states on specific surveillance activities, including expanded analysis of selected occupational health indicators. These specific aims have been developed to expand the current capacity for occupational disease surveillance at CT DPH and to maintain continuity in our surveillance and intervention programs for the duration of the project period. These programs provide the basis for the protection of worker health in our state, not only through surveillance and intervention activities but also through the generation of ideas of how to make our program activities more efficient, effective, and beneficial to the Connecticut workforce.

Project contact: Tom St. Louis
(860) 509-7759

Florida Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Fundamental)

The Florida Department of Health, Division of Environmental Health, Bureau of Environmental Public Health Medicine (EPHM) will develop and implement a Fundamental State-Based Occupational Safety and Health Surveillance Program by collecting and analyzing various data sets including data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Surveys, Florida hospital discharge, ambulatory and emergency departments, vital statistics death file, Florida Cancer Registry, census information and other data sources in order to produce and disseminate information on the CDC/CSTE occupational health indicators relevant to Florida. Additionally, EPHM will work collaboratively with numerous partners including universities, local, state, and federal agencies to identify new data sources to enhance ongoing surveillance activities. EPHM plans to use these data sources to gain a better understanding of the health impact of occupational exposures and injuries in Florida. EPHM will compare Florida's experience with statistics from other states in order to develop a better overall view of Florida's experience compared to the nation. Florida also plans to convene an Occupational Health Surveillance Program Advisory Board. This group will have representatives from clinical medicine, public health, academia and industry in Florida and will serve to guide the program in its efforts and help to prioritize surveillance efforts, disseminate findings and participate in research and prevention activities. EPHM plans to form a collaborative partnership with the University of South Florida's OSHA Training Institute Education Center to identify occupations and industries that would benefit from more in-depth surveys and investigations designed to identify interventions that reduce workplace morbidity.

Project contact: Sharon Watkins
(850) 245-4444 ext. 3999

Georgia Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Fundamental)

The Georgia Department of Community Health proposes to initiate surveillance for occupational illnesses, injuries, and related factors, based on the indicators for occupational health surveillance that have been recommended by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE). We will establish an Advisory Committee including representatives of key partners and stakeholder organizations and agencies. We will participate fully in the Consortium of Occupational State-based Surveillance. With the funds provided through this cooperative agreement, DCH will hire an Epidemiologist whose primary responsibility will be to collect, summarize and report data on the 19 Occupational Health Indicators. The operation of the system is straight forward and will resemble other surveillance activities our office has performed successfully for years. A capable epidemiologist will systematically access the recommended data bases, collect the relevant data, perform basic descriptive epidemiology, and summarize the information in a timely reports that include informative tables, graphs, and narrative text. The information will be shared with the Advisory Committee and other stakeholders, and disseminated via routine website posting. The primary goal of our application is to establish a fundamental surveillance system for occupational health and safety. By providing timely, ongoing data on all 19 indicators, we will establish the basis for informing partners, stakeholders, policy makers, and the public about leading causes of morbidity and mortality from occupational injuries and illnesses in Georgia. This information base, presently absent in the state, will increase awareness and can be used to inform prevention programs and guide their priorities. Although the information from a surveillance system per se does not advance worker safety and health, an effective program to advance worker safety and health must be based on the information from good surveillance.

Project contact: A. Rana Bayakly
(404) 657-1943

Illinois Occupational Surveillance Program (Fundamental)

Illinois is the 5th largest and "most average" state in the US. Its approximately 6 million workers, including a large informal sector, are employed in the most at-risk workplaces in construction, agriculture, mining, logging, transportation, manufacturing, state and municipal employment, health care and home care. The goal of this project is to establish a comprehensive Fundamental occupational safety and health surveillance program in Illinois that will enhance use of Federal and State data sources, strengthen collaborations to promote awareness of occupational health issues and actions, promote reporting to national repositories, conduct simple and complex analyses of individual and linked surveillance databases, inform and be informed by stakeholders, establish a system for setting intervention priorities, and continuously evaluate, study, and update the system. Our strong links with the state health department, workers compensation commission, and other stakeholders will allow us to report the 19 Occupational Health Indicators annually; establish a dynamic advisory board from government, business, academics, unions, non-profits, and worker groups; utilize trauma registry and ambulance databases as primary data sources; link records across databases to conduct more informative, complex data analyses; disseminate findings through a website, list of stakeholders, and courses; promote occupational health surveillance in the National EMS database and National Trauma Database; engage in priority setting activities with the Advisory Board based on surveillance results, literature reviews, and input from other state programs; and evaluate our activities by establishing benchmarks, assessing the quality and quantity of work products and the number and characteristics of who we reach. We will attend NIOSH, CSTE and national conferences to disseminate our work, learn from colleagues, and brainstorm new methods and programs to prevent occupational illnesses and injuries across the U.S.

Project contact: Linda Forst
(312) 355-3826

Iowa Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance Program (Expanded)

The mission of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is to promote and protect the health of Iowans. To promote and protect the health of Iowans, IDPH needs data to make informed decisions and prioritize need. Through the fundamental surveillance project, IDPH will build a surveillance system to monitor occupational illnesses and injuries in Iowa. The system will be comprised of 15 indicators. Thirteen indicators are those required by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the other two indicators included in the system are occupational exposure to anhydrous ammonia and commodity-production related agricultural injuries. Both relate to the prominence of the agricultural industry in Iowa. Information gathered from surveillance activities will be published annually and made available on the IDPH website. IDPH will be able to deliver effective prevention and education programs to Iowa's workforce. IDPH will continue to collaborate with key stakeholders in academia, business, agriculture, and healthcare to enhance the surveillance system. IDPH will expand the fundamental surveillance program to include the components of Pesticide Poisoning Surveillance and Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE). IDPH is committed to improving the health of all Iowans through the delivery of the core functions and essential services of public health. Goal Statement 6−13 and Action Steps 6-13.1 to 6-13.3 in Healthy Iowans 2010 (IDPH 2005) establish the reduction of pesticide poisoning in Iowa as a priority for IDPH in its mission to promote and protect the health of Iowans. Funding of the enhanced surveillance program will allow IDPH to conduct the following activities: identify clusters/outbreaks of pesticide-related illness/injury, identify new pesticide problems and research needs, identify high-risk pesticide active ingredients and products associated with pesticide-related illness, identify groups at risk for pesticide-related illness, and target regulatory, enforcement, consultative, or educational interventions to prevent and control pesticide-related illness/injury. Under a subcontract with the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa FACE Program is located within the University of Iowa’s Department of Occupational and Environmental Health. The goal of the Iowa FACE Program is to reduce the number of traumatic occupational fatalities in Iowa and the nation by establishing a fatal occupational injury surveillance system, conducting on-site investigations of the fatal incidents, identifying risk factors for such injuries, developing prevention strategies, and disseminating the results of these efforts.

Project contact: Rita Gergely
(515) 242-6340

Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Surveillance (Expanded)

This project focuses on the population-based and case-based surveillance of work-related injuries and illnesses in Kentucky (KY), a Health and Human Services (HHS) Region 4 southeastern state. The expanded Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Surveillance (KOSHS) project includes the fundamental KOSHS (occupational health indicator [OHI] component) program and the KY Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program. Population-based surveillance of occupational injuries and illnesses occurring in Kentucky will utilize 26 occupational health indicators, including the analysis of limitations and database utility. Five KY-specific indicators include three current state-specific OHIs (occupational motor vehicle collisions for two OHIs and occupational falls for one OHI) and two new OHIs to be established and tracked (work-related injuries among state employees and work-related emergency department visits). Case-based FACE surveillance data will identify potential cases for fatal incident investigation. On-site worker fatality investigations will be performed within the truck transportation sector associated with short-haul and long-haul including motor vehicle collisions and other causes; the construction sector including falls; the NIOSH-recommended priority areas for investigation; and other industry sectors with worker fatality cases amenable to engineering and/or process changes. The surveillance and comprehensive analysis of transportation industry injuries will be conducted through a number of proposed initiatives. Also, stakeholders will be able to easily access KOSHS and FACE surveillance data through the development of expanded web-based occupational injury data query systems utilizing electronic death certificate data, inpatient hospitalization data, and linked inpatient hospitalization and KY Department of Workers’ Claims data sets. Partnerships and collaborations will be expanded and promoted through specific partnerships with KY Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and other stakeholders. The KOSHS and FACE program advisory committees will be maintained that partner state and local public health agencies, unions, work-related organizations, companies, insurers, and other community-based stakeholders to target major occupational injury and illness issues specific to Kentucky.

Project contact: Terry Bunn
(859) 257-4955

Louisiana Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Fundamental)

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH), Office of Public Health (OPH), Section of Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology (SEET) has established a population-based occupational health surveillance program, the Louisiana Occupational Health and Injury Surveillance (LOHIS). The overall goal of LOHIS is to build the occupational health surveillance program into an effective system that will identify high risk workers in Louisiana and provide the data to reduce occupational injuries and disease through targeted preventive measures. The approach to the Occupational Health Surveillance System is built upon a strong foundation of long-term partnerships with other state agencies and stakeholders who regularly collaborate to address occupational health issues. These partners team with SEET to identify occupational issues, provide data from multiple sources, interpret findings, and utilize the results and findings to enhance prevention measures across the state. The program collects and compiles data on key indicators of occupational diseases, injuries and hazards into a population-based surveillance system that will continue to provide the data for prevention of injuries and disease in workers in Louisiana. This proposal seeks to expand and continue the basic occupational health surveillance system and to advance the preventive efforts to reduce occupational injuries, diseases and hazards in Louisiana. Specific Aims of the proposal include: continue to interact regularly with state partners and stakeholders to obtain input, identify occupational issues and to maintain pipelines to disseminate the findings of the surveillance system; continue to collect, analyze, and interpret surveillance data for the occupational health indicators; assess the strengths and limitations of each data source and type with respect to data gaps and incomplete data, reliable denominators, consistency, and timeliness (reduce lag time) of data from each source; develop new data sources and additional occupational health indicators that are relevant to Louisiana; produce a state-wide annual report that provides trends, high risk occupations and industries, and identifies emerging issues in Louisiana; develop prevention strategies and interventions using surveillance findings and capacity to respond to emerging or emergent issues; and participate in NIOSH meetings, conference calls and other activities.

Project contact: Dianne Dugas
(504) 219-4586

Maryland Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Fundamental)

Maryland’s new Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance Project (OHSSP) creates a permanent occupational disease surveillance structure within the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to promote occupational health and safety surveillance generally and within targeted occupational sectors of the State. OHSSP will collect data from primary provider reports and pre-existing administrative data bases to establish ongoing analysis and reporting of occupational disease incidence within Maryland, including the19 occupational health indicators promulgated by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE). In particular, the OHSSP will focus on several priority areas initially: an outreach campaign to health care providers around the issue of occupational asthma and indoor environments; a collaboration with the Maryland Cancer Control program to address occupational cancer; and a collaboration with the Maryland Environmental Public Health Tracking project to use geographic information systems to better integrate occupational and environmental surveillance data.

Project contact: Clifford Mitchell
(410) 767-7438

Massachusetts Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Expanded)

Work-related injuries and illnesses are a significant public health problem in Massachusetts, imposing substantial human and economic costs. Massachusetts recognizes the prevention of work-related injuries and illnesses as a public health priority and the need for state-based surveillance to promote effective intervention and prevention activities at the state and local levels. State surveillance findings can also fill gaps in occupational health surveillance at the national level. Since 1986, the MA Department of Public Health has worked to build an Occupational Health Surveillance Program (OHSP). OHSP has developed targeted surveillance and intervention systems for priority occupational health conditions and populations, carried out broad-based prevention activities based on surveillance findings, conducted surveillance research, and worked to integrate occupational health into mainstream public health practice. OHSP proposes to build on its extensive experience and network of partners to continue an expanded occupational health surveillance and prevention program in Massachusetts. The proposed expanded program includes fundamental surveillance activities and four additional focused surveillance and intervention projects addressing priority occupational health conditions and worker populations that have been identified with input from key stakeholders in the state. The overarching goal of the expanded program is to reduce the incidence of work-related injuries and illnesses among Massachusetts workers. Specific aims are to: continue fundamental occupational health surveillance activities, including generation of state occupational health indicators; continue and enhance the Massachusetts surveillance system for work-related injuries to workers under age 18, expanding population based surveillance to include young adult workers (ages 18 -24); continue and enhance the Massachusetts Fatality Assessment Control and Evaluation (FACE) project; continue the Massachusetts system for surveillance and prevention of sharps injuries to hospital workers and build on this successful model to begin to address musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) in the hospital workforce; and continue and enhance the Massachusetts surveillance system for work-related asthma. OHSP activities will be guided by an Advisory Board of local occupational health experts and advocates.

Project contact: Letitia Davis
(617) 624-5626

Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Expanded)

Since 1988, the State of Michigan has been conducting occupational injury and illness surveillance modeled after the original Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks (SENSOR) proposal, in which sentinel providers report to a Surveillance Center (Michigan State University). The MSU Surveillance Center will process the reports, interact with providers, analyze the data and will work with the State OSHA Program in the Michigan Department of Energy Labor and Economic Growth on intervention activities for the individual cases, co-workers and the worksite from which cases are reported. The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) will take primary responsibility for compiling the indicators in the Occupational Health Indicator/Basic program, integrating occupational health activity with other programs in public health. Conditions under surveillance will include all work-related lung disease, acute pesticide illnesses, heavy metal toxicity, amputations and acute work-related traumatic fatalities. Michigan will use the following sources for surveillance: clinics; Coast Guard (9th district); Cooperative extension agents; Death certificates; Emergency departments; Federal Railroad Administration (FRA); Health care providers; Hospitals; Laboratories for arsenic, cadmium, carboxyhemoglobin, cholinesterase, lead and mercury; Michigan Health and Hospital Association for hospital discharge data; Medical examiners; the Michigan Department of Agriculture for pesticide reports; the Michigan Emergency Medical Services Information System (MEMSIS); Michigan OSHA hot line; Michigan State Police Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS); the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Agency; the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA); the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB); a newspaper clipping service; and Poison control centers. Activities that will be conducted include site visits to occupational health clinics to enforce Michigan’s reporting law, quarterly newsletter to health care providers, a booth at medical meetings in the state, presentations at medical conferences and inclusion of educational materials in application packets for new medical licenses, follow up inspections to the workplace, development of educational material for employees and employers, annual reports of the conditions under surveillance and development of new occupational health workplace standards. Health care providers will continue to be able to report occupational diseases via email, fax, a toll free telephone, a secure web-based form, regular mail or software that can be used by medical practices switching to electronic medical records. Finally we will expand our dissemination of educational material by using social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook and the popular Wikipedia reference.

Project contact: Ken Rosenmann

Minnesota Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Fundamental)

The purpose of this project is to "enhance the capacity of the Minnesota Department of Health to promote occupational health and safety through surveillance of occupational health indicators and the dissemination of these data to stakeholders for use in establishing priorities for prevention activities." The aims include: establish and maintain a scientific advisory group to identify relevant MN-specific issues and priorities for occupational surveillance; develop and maintain relationships with agencies, organizations, groups, and individuals who can provide and/or utilize appropriate surveillance data; collect, analyze, disseminate and utilize MN data for 19 specified OHIs using existing data systems based on criteria established by the CSTE; collaborate with the CDC-funded MDH EPHT implementation program to incorporate the OHIs into MN's Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health (MN IBIS) - a public web portal currently under development; develop and implement additional strategies to disseminate and publish surveillance results, their interpretations, implications and conclusion; this will include an annual performance review of the accomplishments and impacts of MN's occupation surveillance program and associated activities; collaborate with the CDC-funded MDH Asthma Program to implement components of its strategic plan for WRA in MN; review and update MDH's Work Safe Work Smart curriculum targeted to rural MN adolescents; evaluate the feasibility of revising and implementing an unenforced state statute requiring physician reporting of work-related illness and conditions; and participate in the required biannual meetings, conference calls, and other required activities for Occupational State-based Surveillance

Project contact: Allan Williams
(651) 201-5905

Nebraska Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Fundamental)

The purpose is to establish a "Fundamental" occupational safety and health surveillance program for the State of Nebraska, within the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS), the state agency which has general supervision, control, and primary responsibility over matters relating to public health (Neb. Rev. Stat. 81-601). This program will collect and analyze surveillance data from existing public information and data sources available within NDHHS on all 19 occupational safety and health indicators which have been identified by the NIOSH-States Occupational Surveillance Work Group putting a special emphasis on undeserved, high risk groups such as minorities and young workers. These indicators are specific measures of health or risk status (i.e. the occurrence of a health event or of factors associated with that event) among specific working populations. To further enhance surveillance for reportable conditions potentially associated with workplace exposures, we will develop a surveillance system to capture information on poisoning or illness due to exposure to agricultural or industrial chemicals and to provide information to guide recommendations for prevention. We will also collaborate with the Nebraska Office of Environmental Health Hazards and Indoor Air Unit to expand the Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) Program to track elevated blood lead results in adults, enhance surveillance, and provide a higher level of education and training for occupational groups and industries at high risk for lead exposure. In addition to enhanced surveillance, other activities will be prioritized to enhance the effectiveness of the program. An advisory committee of stakeholders will be convened to provide input to direct activities, educational materials will be disseminated to improve worker safety and health awareness in Nebraska, and reports will be generated to share results of data analyses.

Project contact: Thomas Safranek
(402) 471-0550

New Hampshire Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Fundamental)

The New Hampshire Occupational Health Surveillance Program (OHSP) will build on the State’s capacity for integrated collection of occupational injury and illness data and test the ability to knowledgeably apply this data in a number of applications. This enhanced surveillance will identify occupational safety and health hazards particular to New Hampshire, assist in prioritizing the numerous hazards and issues needing to be addressed, and provide key targeting demographics in the design and execution of local interventions and programs. The objectives of the NH program include the following: Establish the New Hampshire Occupational Health Surveillance Program (NH OHSP) within the Bureau of Public Health Statistics and Informatics of the Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) utilizing existing data sources in state and federal public health and labor agencies, public and private healthcare provider data, and academic institutions, and create a single repository for combining these data into valid, reliable and useful surveillance information; establish and maintain an advisory committee to obtain stakeholder input and to identify relevant state-specific issues and priorities for state surveillance; participate in the Consortium of Occupational State-based Surveillance (COSS) meetings and workgroups; collect, analyze, and interpret surveillance data for as many of the national occupational health indicators (OHIs) as possible using existing data sources; address the utility and limitations of existing databases for collecting and analyzing occupational illnesses and injuries. We will also: establish continuous performance review (evaluation) of the accomplishments and impact of the surveillance program and prepare annual reports to the public by NIOSH sector; identify objectives and approaches for enhancing the NH OHSP; demonstrate links to prevention activities, and integrate activities with existing NH public health surveillance systems, including the Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance Program, poison control and surveillance, and vital statistics (occupational mortality).

Project contact: Karla Armenti
(603) 271-8425

New Jersey Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Expanded)

The Occupational Health Surveillance Unit in the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) has been conducting surveillance of work-related injuries and illnesses in New Jersey since 1981. During this funding period, NJDHSS will continue to enhance its existing occupational health surveillance system which consists of data collection and analysis, workplace interventions, education and outreach, and collaborations. Aims of the project are as follows: conduct population-based surveillance using existing state data sources; continue case-based surveillance of serious work-related conditions that require immediate public health response; foster integration of occupational health into ongoing public health activities; and promote collaboration with various stakeholders to improve state occupational health surveillance capacity. The injuries and illnesses that are proposed for surveillance include 19 occupational health indicators, fatal occupational injuries, work-related asthma, and silicosis. Silicosis has been a public health concern in New Jersey because of the many silica-using industries in the state, including foundries, potteries, glass manufacturing, sand and stone mining, and construction. The number of NJ construction workers that will be potentially exposed to silica is commensurate with the amount of money provided by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for NJ’s highway and bridge infrastructure projects. Work-related asthma is a public health concern in New Jersey where exposure to asthmagens occurs in a variety of industries, such as health care industry (aldehydes and latex), coating industry (isocyanates), bakery (flour dust), educational facilities (mold and indoor air pollutants), and pharmaceutical manufacturing (various drugs). Finally, our goal of reducing fatal and nonfatal occupational injuries will be furthered by continuing and enhancing the NJ Fatality Assessment Control and Evaluation (FACE) program, a research program designed to prevent workplace fatalities.

Project contact: Jerald Fagliano
(609) 826-4984

New Mexico Occupational Health Surveillance (Fundamental)

The New Mexico Occupational Health Surveillance Program (NMOHSP) aims to conduct occupational illness and injury surveillance and data analysis in order to identify opportunities for intervention and to communicate findings to those who can affect positive change for worker health. The Program has expanded on the occupational health indicators to surveillance of occupational injury fatality and worker pesticide illness and injury, to interacting with diverse populations such as farm workers and workers within sovereign tribal nations. As the program moves forward, partners within large and small establishments alike are being engaged in dialogue on worker health. Health care providers are actively directed to report to the New Mexico Occupational Health Registry (NMOHR). The NMOHSP will in turn disseminate data and information on emerging occupational health issues to providers. Through the establishment of strong partnerships and the development of a stakeholder network the NMOHSP plans to expand worker outreach. Regional issues such as farm workers who move across borders for jobs and health care, and health conditions in the oil and gas industry are also at the top of the Program’s agenda. We plan to collaborate with partners in neighboring states to enhance occupational health surveillance for the Western States while continuing to contribute to national state-based occupational health surveillance.

Project contact: Michael Landen
(505) 476-3575

New York State Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Expanded)

New York State Department of Health recognizes that occupational health is an important component of overall public health. The Bureau of Occupational Health (BOH), created in 1987, will be responsible for implementing the occupational health surveillance project following the guidelines for comprehensive state-based occupational health activities. BOH is organized for conducting surveillance of occupational diseases, injuries and fatalities and targeting interventions identified through the surveillance activities. The systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, dissemination and use of health data are essential to understand the health status of a population, to assess progress, and to plan effective prevention programs. Therefore, BOH plans to use these funds to expand and improve its current occupational health surveillance programs, specifically the Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program; and surveillance for pesticide poisonings and work-related asthma. The Bureau will seek input from stakeholders in identifying relevant state-specific issues and priorities for occupational surveillance, and will request their assistance with the creation and dissemination of outreach materials to high-risk populations. BOH will maintain fundamental occupational health surveillance activities. Data collected will be incorporated into other public health tracking systems including the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologist’s Occupational Health Indicator project, the NYS Prevention Agenda, and the NYS Community Data Clearinghouse. These data will also be further evaluated to identify high-risk industries and occupations, and populations at high-risk. Prevention strategies will then be directed towards these special populations. Intervention and outreach efforts will also be focused toward high-risk and vulnerable populations including young workers, agricultural workers, and low-income, minority, immigrant and Hispanic working populations.

Project contact: Kitty Gelberg
(518) 402-7900

North Carolina Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Fundamental)

The primary goal of this project is to utilize existing data sets to profile hazards affecting workers in NC (19 CSTE Occupational Health Indicators) and to use what is learned to promote prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses, fatalities and exposures. New OHIs will be developed for select conditions important to the state (heat-related illness, agricultural injury and illness, and public-sector employees). As a new program, focus will also be placed on promoting the program and its mission and developing the resources and expertise needed to meet all program objectives. The objectives of the project are to: assess and describe occupational illness and injuries in NC; establish strategies to promote occupational health initiatives and policy; and establish infrastructure to assure delivery of necessary services for worker protection. The specific aims for this project are: collect and analyze data (Occupational Health Indicators); identify at-risk industry sectors & occupations; identify potential risk factors, trends, and emerging issues; at least annually, compile and disseminate data; identify and participate in intervention opportunities that are linked to surveillance findings; maintain an advisory group, establish strategic partnerships and promote program goals and usage of data, and assess and strengthen capacity (staffing) and resources to carry out needed services and prevention activities. Efforts will aid in protecting the livelihood and quality of life of workers and their families in NC.

Project contact: Shelia Higgins
(919) 707-5940

Oregon Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Expanded)

The Oregon Department of Human Services will continue to enhance surveillance and prevention of non-fatal and fatal work-related injuries through the occupational health indicator (OHI) component and fatality assessment and control evaluation (FACE) program. As part of the (OHI) component, staff will continue to generate the 19 OHIs, develop new indicators that can add to our understanding of worker health in Oregon, identify and evaluate new data sources that will augment Oregon’s occupational surveillance system, use the indicators and other analyses to identify trends in work-related injury, illness, and death. In addition, efforts will be made to develop and integrate occupational health indicators into the Oregon Environmental Public Health Tracking portal. Staff will work closely with program partners directly as well as through the Occupational Public Health Program advisory committee, coalitions, and other groups to utilize and leverage expertise and resources to maximize the outcomes that we are striving to achieve. Intervention strategies and education and outreach materials development will include researching innovative methods to influence target audiences, exploring different types of media to disseminate occupational health messages and reach intended audience, and holding focus groups. The Oregon FACE program is a research program designed to prevent occupational fatalities through surveillance, targeted investigation, assessment, and outreach associated with traumatic work-related deaths in Oregon. Surveillance activities rely on primary data, including death certificates, and reports from the medical examiner, Oregon OSHA, other government agencies, and media. Data are analyzed and assigned codes by industry, occupation, and event. Based on the findings of our fatality surveillance, investigations are performed for work situations at high-risk for injury and emphasize urgent safety issues. Information collected during the assessment is produced into investigational reports and other safety materials that allow the opportunity to closely examine a broad range of incidents. These analyses are followed by prevention strategies designed to control or eliminate the identified risks. Safety materials are then disseminated to safety and health professionals, workers, and employers in order to contribute to a normative culture for safety. Areas of emphasis will include developing intervention strategies to reduce occupational fatalities associated with falls, particularly involving ladders and construction, and among older workers. Staff will also continue interventions related to young workers, immigrant workers, commercial fishermen, and logging; and develop other outreach activities in priority areas as appropriate.

Project contact: Jae Douglas
(971) 673-1139

Texas Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Fundamental)

The primary goal of this project is to collect, analyze, and share data related to occupational health and safety in Texas in order to reduce priority occupational fatalities, injuries, diseases, and exposures within Texas and throughout the nation. A long-term objective is to participate in the establishment of a comprehensive, nationwide system of state-based occupational health and illness surveillance. Texas is one of the largest states, both geographically and demographically and has a unique mix of urban and rural populations, making it an important component in the development of a nationwide system. This project focuses on 13, increasing to 19 occupational health indicators (OHIs) – as identified by the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologist (CSTE) and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). However the program will also seek out data sources not available from national occupational safety and health surveillance systems in order to fill data gaps and identify additional work environments and occupations that are at high risk for disease or injury. The focus of this project will be on working with occupational health stakeholders to determine priority conditions within the state. With their input, the program will examine and share data as well as publish an annual report which describes the accomplishments and impact of surveillance.

Project contact: John Villanacci
(512) 458-7269 ext. 6175

Washington Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Expanded)

The burden of occupational injuries and illness to Washington State workers, employers and society is significant The Washington State Fundamental Occupational Safety and Health Surveillance program at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries' Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP) program intends to continue providing the information and resources to promote safer and healthier workplaces in Washington State. Our state-based fundamental occupational safety and health surveillance program will follow the model of the NIOSH guidelines for state based public health activities. Our objective is to work to assure safer and healthier workplaces in Washington State, to influence occupational safety and health policy, and to provide an assessment of the hazardous exposures, occupational injuries, and occupational illnesses occurring in Washington State. The specific aims under Washington State's Fundamental Occupational Safety and Health Surveillance Program are to continue Washington State Occupational Health surveillance activities in accordance with the CSTE and NIOSH guidelines for state-based public health activities in occupational safety and health. These include: maintaining general program capacity for occupational injury and illness surveillance at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries; conducting population-based surveillance activities using the CSTE/NIOSH Occupational Indicators; responding to emerging hazards and data requests from employers, workers, and groups representing employers and employees; collaborating with other state and federal partners on state-based surveillance activities and initiatives; produce and disseminate a biennial report that identifies high risk industries for high cost, common nonfatal occupational injuries; continue Washington's occupational health surveillance and prevention activities for work-related amputations and hospitalized burns; and promote action by industry, labor, and government stakeholders to reduce these injuries in Washington State.

Project contact: David Bonauto
(360) 902-5664

Wisconsin Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (Fundamental)

Occupational health hazards continue to contribute to disease, disability and premature death in Wisconsin. Every year Wisconsin averages more than 150,000 injuries in the workplace. The state health plan, Healthiest Wisconsin 2010 (HW 2010), recognizes the importance of providing healthy workplaces and outlines strategies to prevent these incidents from occurring. HW 2010 calls for expanding capacity of occupational surveillance as one strategy to meet the vision of "healthy people in healthy places". The goal of this grant proposal is to enhance the existing Wisconsin occupational safety and health surveillance system already in place in the state. This will be done by adding new priority data collection areas to the existing occupational surveillance activities. We will also move forward by expanding communication networks and partnership opportunities through development of educational materials, presentations at conferences and presence at meetings. Another goal is to use the information collected to develop effective interventions. We have been successful in the past at sharing the information collected with others and enlisting their help in the development and dissemination of interventions. Last year our innovative mini-grant program for work-related asthma concluded. Three projects developed educational interventions about work-related asthma. One was directed at physicians, one directed toward employers, one directed toward employees and the general public. Another intervention funded through these mini­ grants was the investigation of particulate matter in the dairy industry. This grant will enable the use of proven strategies to move the Wisconsin Occupational Health Program forward in expanding its capacity, capabilities, enhancing partnerships and implementation of interventions.

Project contact: Henry Anderson
(608) 266-1253