Work-related injuries and illnesses are a significant public health problem in Massachusetts, imposing substantial human and economic costs. Massachusetts recognizes the reduction of work-related injuries and illnesses as a public health priority and the need for state-based surveillance to promote and evaluate prevention activities at the state and local levels. Since 1986, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has worked to build the Occupational Health Surveillance Program (OHSP). OHSP has developed targeted surveillance and intervention systems for priority occupational health conditions and worker 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 continue occupational health surveillance activities that are basic to an established program. The overarching goal is to reduce the incidence of occupational injuries illnesses in Massachusetts.
Specific Aims are to: 1) Generate state occupational health indicators annually to track the occupational health status of the Massachusetts population;2) Conduct more extensive analyses of existing state data sets to characterize work-related injuries and illnesses in Massachusetts;prepare and disseminate surveillance reports on a regular basis;3) Continue a limited level of case-based surveillance of selected serious occupational health conditions that require immediate public health response to assure that hazards are controlled;4) Continue working relationships with stakeholders to obtain input on program priorities, to increase surveillance capacity, and to promote use of surveillance findings to improve worker safety and health;5) Collaborate with other public health programs to foster the integration of occupational health into ongoing public health activities at the state and local levels;and 6) Promote collaboration among the Northeast states to improve state capacity to conduct occupational health surveillance and prevention activities. OHSP will be guided by an advisory board of local occupational health experts and advocates.
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