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, disease, 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 injury 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 occupational health indicators (OHIs) - as identified by the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists. 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 the fundamental part of this project will be on working with occupational health stakeholders to determine priority conditions for 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 its surveillance. The expanded portion of the program will focus on the priority condition of pesticide exposure.
The aims are to maintain and enhance current follow-up and investigation procedures for reported exposures;develop new protocols and educational materials for workplace intervention, especially in industries that are considered high-risk;and enhance case ascertainment, which recently incorporated occupational exposures to disinfectants. To increase case ascertainment, the program will continue to maintain strong reporting ties and develop new agreements. It will also continue to collaborate with NIOSH and other states to identify targeted occupations, associated risk factors and to develop prevention strategies accordingly. In addition, reporting relationships will be enhanced with key community partners in underserved populations and at-risk communities.