Indicators for occupational health surveillance
MMWR Recommendations and Reports
Each year, millions of the estimated 140 million U.S. workers are injured on the job or become ill from exposure to hazards at work. These work-related injuries and illnesses result in substantial human and economic costs for workers, employers, and society; estimated direct and indirect costs of work-related injuries and illnesses are approximately $170 billion annually. In 1998, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety
... upational Safety and Health (NIOSH) convened a work group that identified priority occupational health conditions to be placed under surveillance, addressed cross-cutting surveillance concerns, and made recommendations regarding the role of states in a comprehensive nationwide surveillance system for work-related disease, injuries, and hazards. CSTE recommendations led to the generation of 19 occupational health indicators (OHIs) and one Employment Demographic Profile, which were developed during 2001-2003. The OHIs complement other guidelines for state-based occupational health surveillance to address overall state and national goals to improve public health. These OHIs are intended to help states build occupational health capacity by providing them with tools to collect and generate important, basic information concerning the occupational health status of the state population and to identify areas in which to focus prevention efforts. In 2005, CSTE released a report compiling OHI data from 13 states. NIOSH provides funding for the OHIs because they are now a required component of state-based cooperative agreements for occupational health surveillance. This report introduces the OHIs and describes CSTE's approach to developing this new occupational health surveillance tool.