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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24835.
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A Smarter National
Surveillance System
for Occupational
Safety and Health
in the 21st Century

Committee on Developing a Smarter National Surveillance System for
Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century

Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division on Earth and Life Studies

Committee on National Statistics
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Board on Health Sciences Policy
Health and Medicine Division

A Consensus Study Report of

images

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24835.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

This activity was supported by Grant 200-2011-38807 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Grant HHSP233201400020B from the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Grant DOL-OPS-16-P-000193 from Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-46299-0
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-46299-1
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/24835

Additional copies of this report are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2018 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/24835.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24835.
×

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The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president.

The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.

The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24835.
×

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Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies.

For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24835.
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COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPING A SMARTER NATIONAL SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM FOR OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Chair

EDWARD H. SHORTLIFFE, NAM,1 Arizona State University, Tempe

Members

DAVID K. BONAUTO, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, Tumwater

DAVID L. BUCKERIDGE, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

STEVEN B. COHEN, RTI International, Washington, DC

LETITIA K. DAVIS, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston

GERALD F. KOMINSKI, University of California, Los Angeles

SCOTT A. MUGNO, FedEx Ground, Moon Township, PA

KENNETH D. ROSENMAN, Michigan State University, East Lansing

NOAH S. SEIXAS, University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle

MARGARET M. SEMINARIO, AFL-CIO, Washington, DC

GLENN M. SHOR, California Department of Industrial Relations, Oakland

DAVID H. WEGMAN, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Staff

PEGGY TSAI YIH, Study Director, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources

JENNA BRISCOE, Research Assistant, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources

CATHY LIVERMAN, Scholar, Board on Health Sciences Policy

MICHAEL COHEN, Senior Program Officer, Committee on National Statistics

YASMIN ROMITTI, Research Associate, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources

ROBIN SCHOEN, Director, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources

___________________

1 National Academy of Medicine.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24835.
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BOARD ON AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES

Chair

CHARLES W. RICE, Kansas State University, Manhattan

Members

SHANE C. BURGESS, University of Arizona, Tucson

SUSAN CAPALBO, Oregon State University, Corvallis

GAIL CZARNECKI-MAULDEN, Nestle Purina PetCare, St. Louis, MO

GEBISA EJETA, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

JAMES S. FAMIGLIETTI, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

FRED GOULD, NAS,1 North Carolina State University, Raleigh

DOUGLAS B. JACKSON-SMITH, Ohio State University, Wooster

MOLLY M. JAHN, University of Wisconsin–Madison

ROBBIN S. JOHNSON, Cargill Foundation, Wayzata, MN

JAMES W. JONES, NAE,2 University of Florida, Gainesville

A.G. KAWAMURA, Solutions from the Land, Washington, DC

STEPHEN S. KELLEY, North Carolina State University, Raleigh

JULIA L. KORNEGAY, North Carolina State University, Raleigh

JAN E. LEACH, Colorado State University, Fort Collins

JILL J. MCCLUSKEY, Washington State University, Richland

KAREN I. PLAUT, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

JIM E. RIVIERE, NAM,3 Kansas State University, Manhattan

Staff

ROBIN A. SCHOEN, Director

___________________

1 National Academy of Sciences.

2 National Academy of Engineering.

3 National Academy of Medicine.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24835.
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COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL STATISTICS

Chair

ROBERT M. GROVES, NAS,1 NAM,2 Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Members

FRANCINE BLAU, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

MARY ELLEN BOCK, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

ANNE E. CASE, NAM,2 Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

MICHAEL CHERNEW, NAM,2 Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

JANET CURRIE, NAM,2 Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

DONALD A. DILLMAN, Washington State University, Pullman

CONSTANTINE GATSONIS, Brown University, Providence, RI

JAMES S. HOUSE, NAM,2 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

THOMAS L. MESENBOURG, Retired; formerly, U.S. Census Bureau

SARAH M. NUSSER, Iowa State University, Ames

COLM A. O’MUIRCHEARTAIGH, University of Chicago, IL

JEROME P. REITER, Duke University, Durham, NC

ROBERTO RIGOBON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

JUDITH A. SELTZER, University of California, Los Angeles

EDWARD H. SHORTLIFFE, NAM,2 Arizona State University, Tempe

Staff

BRIAN A. HARRIS-KOJETIN, Director

___________________

1 National Academy of Sciences.

2 National Academy of Medicine.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24835.
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BOARD ON HEALTH SCIENCES POLICY

Chair

JEFFREY KAHN, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Members

WYLIE BURKE, NAM,1 University of Washington, Seattle

R. A. CHARO, NAM,1 University of Wisconsin–Madison

LINDA H. CLEVER, NAM,1 California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco

BARRY S. COLLER, NAS,2 NAM,1 The Rockefeller University, New York, NY

BERNARD A. HARRIS, Jr., Vesalius Ventures, Houston, TX

MARTHA N. HILL, NAM,1 Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD

STEVEN E. HYMAN, NAM,1 Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA

ALAN M. JETTE, NAM,1 Boston University School of Public Health, MA

PATRICIA A. KING, NAM,1 Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC

STORY C. LANDIS, NAM,1 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD

HARRY T. ORR, NAM,1 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

UMAIR A. SHAH, Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services, Houston, TX

ROBYN STONE, NAM,1 LeadingAge, Washington, DC

SHARON TERRY, Genetic Alliance, Washington, DC

Staff

ANDREW POPE, Director

___________________

1 National Academy of Medicine.

2 National Academy of Sciences.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24835.
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Preface

Many threats to health and well-being occur in the workplace. Understanding those risks to prevent injury, illness, or even fatal incidents is an important function of society. We expect interested parties to measure the frequency of incidents, to determine causes when possible, and to offer preventive measures to stakeholders so that the work environment becomes safer and healthier over time. This all needs to occur in the context of a changing workforce and the evolution of the nature of work, suggesting that new kinds of threats to health and well-being can occur, even as others are being optimally managed or are becoming less pertinent as jobs or industries fade away and are replaced by others. In the United States, both the federal and state governments are heavily involved in monitoring occupational health and safety and developing policies or interventions intended to mitigate work-related injuries and disease. At the federal level, principal agencies involved with such work include the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Many of the challenges faced by these agencies relate to gathering the information necessary to measure and assess the frequency of workplace-related injuries and illnesses so that suitable policies and interventions can be proposed. In 1987, the agencies sought the advice of the National Research Council regarding surveillance for occupational safety and health (OSH). The resulting report, Counting Injuries and Illnesses in the Workplace: Proposals for a Better System, provided seminal guidance on how to

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24835.
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organize and enhance the U.S. programs for OSH surveillance. In the subsequent 30 years, despite many efforts developed in response to the 1987 recommendations, both the technology for surveillance and the nature of work have evolved considerably.

In the intervening years, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have been involved in many workshops, studies, and reports that have touched on issues related to occupational safety and health. For example, from 2006-2009, NIOSH requested that the National Academies undertake programmatic reviews of some NIOSH research programs. The need for better surveillance was a theme that emerged from each of those reviews. In 2014, sequestration forced federal agencies to re-examine their programs as they were asked to address their agency’s mission more effectively but with fewer resources. More recently, the director of NIOSH again approached the National Academies to assist them and other agencies to come up with creative solutions across many categories of occupation for surveillance and monitoring, and to be able to do so in a “smarter” and cost-effective manner.

THE COMMITTEE AND ITS CHARGE

To obtain forward-looking advice, NIOSH, BLS, and OSHA jointly asked the National Academies to conduct a study in response to the need for a more coordinated, cost-effective set of approaches for occupational safety and health surveillance in the United States. Our study committee has addressed this task, gathering information about the strengths and limitations of existing national and state approaches, reviewing a variety of methodologies and technologies that might be applied usefully and cost-effectively. The resulting report is a product of more than a year of deliberations, offering the consensus advice of a diverse set of individuals who have studied the issues carefully and learned a great deal in the process. We have formulated a future vision that is intended to assist all stakeholders, including the agencies, as they seek to improve occupational safety and health in the coming years.

Some of the committee members are career professionals who have worked in the area of occupational safety and health, both at state and national levels. Others brought complementary skill sets that were pertinent to the committee’s charge: epidemiology, occupational medicine, survey methodologies, biomedical informatics, data analytics, economics, cost-benefit analysis, and workplace organization and management. I was honored to help lead this diverse group of talented professionals, all of whom contributed enthusiastically and tirelessly to the discussions, deliberations, and the final report. We quickly realized that the topic is very large

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24835.
×

and complex, with nuances that many of us had not anticipated when we joined the study group. Our knowledge of the topic was broadened, in the first three meetings and several conference calls during the early months, by informative sessions with invited experts who helped us to address the task. Large portions of the early meetings were open, with members of the public invited to attend and to provide comments.

We turned, for our final two meetings, to private deliberations, reviewing all that we had learned in order to develop a shared vision of what was possible and seeking to offer recommendations that were responsive to the committee’s charge and were actionable. Our task was further influenced by a change in government during the study period, leading to uncertainties about future budgets and focus for the pertinent federal agencies.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This report benefited from the combined talents of many people, including those who were directly associated with the project and many who were not. First, thanks are due to members of the committee itself, all of whom maintained a high level of enthusiasm, energy, and dedication over the course of the project. Committee members found time for five project meetings, for multiple conference calls, and for drafting portions of the text despite their many other responsibilities and commitments.

Many other people volunteered their time and expertise to help the committee to understand better the ways in which OSH surveillance might be strengthened and modernized in ways that would be acceptable, and even inspirational, for all stakeholders. The information gathered during these interactions proved invaluable to the committee’s deliberations and forms the backbone of this report. Those who provided us with briefings are summarized in Appendix C to the report. We thank them all for their important contributions.

The committee members, many of whom have served on previous study groups, stand in awe of the remarkable, patient work of the National Academies staff in supporting its deliberations over the course of this study. Staff members kept the committee on track and helped its members to put their ideas and analyses into coherent prose.

Our thanks, finally, to representatives of the sponsoring agencies who worked closely with us when we needed information. Not only did they offer insights in the public sessions during the first committee meetings, but they responded fully and promptly to information requests that we submitted to them throughout the study. The committee accordingly hopes that its findings and recommendations will assist the agencies in moving forward

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24835.
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to assure the design and implementation of a “smarter” OSH surveillance system for the 21st century.

Edward H. Shortliffe, Chair
Committee on Developing a “Smarter” National Surveillance
System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century

Page xiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24835.
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Acknowledgments

This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

James J. Cimino, University of Alabama School of Medicine

Eric Frumin, Change to Win

Erica Groshen, Cornell University

James S. House, University of Michigan

Joel Kaufman, University of Washington

Anthony LaMontagne, Deakin University, Australia

Harold Lehmann, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Virginia Lesser, Oregon State Department of Statistics

Sharon Levine, Kaiser Permanente

Barbara Materna, California Department of Public Health

Carrie A. Redlich, Yale University

John W. Ruser, Workers Compensation Research Institute

Gregory R. Wagner, Harvard School of Public Health

Marc Younis, ExxonMobil

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24835.
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Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Dr. Mark R. Cullen, Stanford University, and Dr. James A. Merchant, the University of Iowa. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.

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Select Acronyms and Abbreviations

ABLES

Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance

ACS

American Community Survey

AHRQ

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

ATS

American Thoracic Society

BLL

blood lead level

BLS

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

BRFSS

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillanced System

CalSIM

California Simulation of Insurance Markets

CAREX

CARcinogen EXposure System

CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CEA

Cost-effectiveness Analysis

CEHD

Chemical Exposure Health Data

CFID

Commercial Fishing Incident Database

CFOI

Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries

CFR

Code of Federal Regulations

CIPSEA

Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act

COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

CPSC

Consumer Products Safety Commission

CPWR

The Center for Construction Research and Training

CSELS

Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services

CSTE

Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24835.
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CUA

Cost-utility Analysis

CWCS

Center for Workers’ Compensation Studies

CWHSP

Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program

CWP

Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis

CWXSP

Coal Workers’ X-ray Surveillance Program

DAFW

days away from work

DOE

U.S. Department of Energy

DOL

U.S. Department of Labor

DSR

Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

ED

emergency department

EHR

electronic health record

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

EPIDERM

skin specialist surveillance scheme

EU

European Union

Eurofound

European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions

EWCS

European Working Conditions Survey

eWorld

Work-Related Lung Disease Surveillance System

FAA

Federal Aviation Administration

FACE

Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation

FARS

Fatality Analysis Reporting System

FINJEM

Finnish Job Exposure Matrix

FOG

Fatalities in the Oil and Gas Extraction Industry

FRA

Federal Railroad Administration

FTE

full-time equivalent

GP

general practitioner

HCUP

The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project

HHE

health hazard evaluation

HHS

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

HITECH

Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health

HIV

human immunodeficiency virus

HSE

Health and Safety Executive

HSOII

Household Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

IAIABC

International Association of Industrial Accidents Boards and Commissions

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24835.
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ICD

International Classification of Diseases

ICD-10-CM

International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification

ILO

International Labour Organization

IMIS

Integrated Management Information System

IOM

Institute of Medicine

IT

information technology

JEMs

job exposure matrices

LAUS

Local Area Unemployment Statistics

LFS

Labour Force Survey

MA COSH

Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health

MC

methylene chloride

MDRS

Mine Data Retrieval System

MEPS

Medical Expenditure Panel Survey

MIFACE

Michigan Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation

MSD

musculoskeletal disorder

MSHA

Mine Safety and Health Administration

NAICS

North American Industry Classification System

NBDPS

National Birth Defects Prevention Study

NCCDP

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

NCCI

National Council on Compensation Insurance

NCHS

National Center for Health Statistics

NCIPC

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

NCS

National Compensation Survey

NCVS

National Crime Victimization Survey

NEISS

National Electronic Injury Surveillance System

NHANES

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

NHIS

National Health Interview Survey

NHTSA

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

NIH

National Institutes of Health

NIOCCS

NIOSH Industry and Occupation Computerized Coding System

NIOSH

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

NLP

natural language processing

NNDSS

National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System

NOES

National Occupational Exposures Survey

NOHS

National Occupational Hazards Survey

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NOMS

National Occupational Mortality Surveillance System

NORA

National Occupational Research Agenda

NORC

National Opinion Research Center

NORMS

National Occupational Respiratory Mortality System

NRC

National Research Council

O*NET

Occupational Network Database

ODI

OSHA Data Initiative

OHSN

Occupational Health Safety Network

OIICS

Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System

OIS

OSHA Information System

ONC

Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

ORS

Occupational Requirements Survey

OSH

Occupational Safety and Health

OSH Act

Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970

OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

PPE

personal protective equipment

PRAMS

Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System

QA

Quality Assurance

QALY

quality-adjusted life year

QCEW

Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

QWS

Quality of Worklife Survey

RIDDOR

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations

SENSOR

Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks

SHARP

Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention

SOC

Standard Occupational Classification

SOII

Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

SROI

social return on investment

SSA

Social Security Administration

SSDI

Social Security Disability Insurance

SWI

Self-reported Work-related Illness

THOR

The Health and Occupation Research network

TIRES

Trucking Injury Reduction Emphasis through Surveillance

UAW

United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America

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UI

Unemployment Insurance

UK

United Kingdom

UMLS

Unified Medical Language System

WCIO

Workers Compensation Insurance Organizations

WISQARS

Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System

WMSD

work-related musculoskeletal disorder

Work-RISQS

Work-Related Injury Statistics Query System

YWP

Young Workers Project

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The workplace is where 156 million working adults in the United States spend many waking hours, and it has a profound influence on health and well-being. Although some occupations and work-related activities are more hazardous than others and face higher rates of injuries, illness, disease, and fatalities, workers in all occupations face some form of work-related safety and health concerns. Understanding those risks to prevent injury, illness, or even fatal incidents is an important function of society.

Occupational safety and health (OSH) surveillance provides the data and analyses needed to understand the relationships between work and injuries and illnesses in order to improve worker safety and health and prevent work-related injuries and illnesses. Information about the circumstances in which workers are injured or made ill on the job and how these patterns change over time is essential to develop effective prevention programs and target future research. The nation needs a robust OSH surveillance system to provide this critical information for informing policy development, guiding educational and regulatory activities, developing safer technologies, and enabling research and prevention strategies that serves and protects all workers.

A Smarter National Surveillance System for Occupational Safety and Health in the 21st Century provides a comprehensive assessment of the state of OSH surveillance. This report is intended to be useful to federal and state agencies that have an interest in occupational safety and health, but may also be of interest broadly to employers, labor unions and other worker advocacy organizations, the workers’ compensation insurance industry, as well as state epidemiologists, academic researchers, and the broader public health community. The recommendations address the strengths and weaknesses of the envisioned system relative to the status quo and both short- and long-term actions and strategies needed to bring about a progressive evolution of the current system.

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