OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SAFETY NETWORK (OHSN)
Frequently Asked Questions: Using OHSN
Within this page, you will find some of our most frequently asked questions. This list will be updated with new questions as needed. If you have other questions not addressed here, check out our other FAQs provided to interested OHSN users or contact us at NIOSHOHSN@cdc.gov or 513-841-4337.
If I use a commercial software to log my facility’s injury data, what do I need to do to get my data ready to upload into OHSN?
If you use a commercial software to log your facility’s traumatic injury, sharps injury, and blood and body fluid exposures you will need to export your data to an Excel file. Then you will convert the Excel file to the OHSN format (an XML file) using our OHSN Conversion Tool. Once your data are in the OHSN format (XML), they can be uploaded into OHSN. To learn more about this process, see the OHSN User Manual or contact us at NIOSHOHSN@cdc.gov.
If I use Excel to log my facility’s injury and/or exposure data, what do I need to do to get my data ready to upload into OHSN?
If I use EPINET to log my facility’s sharps injury and blood and body fluid exposure data, what do I need to do to get my data ready to upload into OHSN?
Once you log your injuries into EPINET, you will need to convert your file to the OHSN format (an XML file) using our OHSN Conversion Tool. Once your data are in the OHSN format, they can be uploaded into OHSN. To learn more about this process, see the OHSN User Manual or contact us at NIOSHOHSN@cdc.gov.
If I do not have my data in a commercial software, what should I do to get my data ready to upload into OHSN?
If you do not currently use Excel or other software to log your facility’s injury or exposure data, you will need to download the NIOSH provided Excel file [XLSM – 112 KB] to enter your data. Once you have entered your data, download the OHSN Conversion Tool, which will allow you to convert the Excel file to the OHSN format (an XML file), which is then uploaded into OHSN.
If you decide to track only exposures (sharps injuries and blood and body fluid exposures), you may use EPINET instead of the NIOSH provided Excel file (Don’t have EPINET? Download it free). If you use EPINET, enter your exposure data into EPINET, convert your EPINET file to the OHSN format (an XML file) using the OHSN Conversion Tool, and then upload the file into OHSN.
Where can I learn more about standardizing my local terms to the terms OHSN uses?
If I have problems standardizing my local terms to terms used in OHSN, can NIOSH help?
Yes! The OHSN team is dedicated to providing timely help regarding any issue that may arise during the matching or “mapping” process. If you need further help with standardizing your terms to terms used in OHSN, or if do not understand the terms, review our Standard Occupational Data Architecture (SODA) document. This document provides all terms as well as definitions that we use during the mapping process. We also provide help via email, conference call, or potentially a web-based seminar.
How often must data be submitted to OHSN?
We recommend that you submit data to OHSN once a month. However, you can also choose to submit data on a quarterly basis. You must submit data at least six months of the year to be an active participant in the system.
How quickly can I view data I submit?
New data can be viewed 7-10 days after they are submitted. Previously entered data can be viewed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Can historical data be submitted to OHSN?
While submitting historical data is not required, you can submit this data to OHSN if you wish. By adding historical data you may be able to evaluate longer term trends for injuries and exposures.
Can commercial software export to OHSN?
Not yet. We are working with commercial software vendors to incorporate exportable OHSN reports directly into future versions of their software. Vendors that have been in communication with OHSN include:
The NIOSH Standard Occupational Data Architecture (SODA) document guides commercial and noncommercial occupational health surveillance software developers on ways to incorporate OHSN data requirements into their existing applications.
Talk to your software vendors and let them know that you are eager to work with OHSN. If they would like to learn more about OHSN software compatibility for commercial software, see the ReadMe.docx document in the OHSN Software Compatibility Kit or contact us at NIOSHOHSN@cdc.gov or 513-841-4337.
Why did OHSN expand to allow facilities to monitor exposure incidents?
The ability to monitor exposure incidents was created in response to stakeholder demand. OHSN will allow facilities to track blood and body fluid exposures and needlestick/sharps injuries. We hope that allowing for better monitoring of these exposures, facilities can decrease the amount of needlestick and blood and body fluid exposures injuries.
- Page last reviewed: June 5, 2017
- Page last updated: June 5, 2017
- Content source:
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies