An occupational health and safety surveillance program in Montana would work to accomplish three main goals in order to bridge the gap between occupational health surveillance and prevention and safety activities. This program, Montana Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance (MOHSS), would accomplish this through three primary activities that all together can provide valuable information and lead to occupational health improvement across the state. MOHSS will collect, report, and analyze the NIOSH Occupational Health Indicators as a baseline for occupational health surveillance. The indicators collected on an annual basis will allow for an analysis of trends in occupational health These will be used to monitor Montana's occupational safety and health landscape, reveal areas in need of more in-depth surveillance, and guide prevention efforts. MOHSS will also use interagency collaborations to improve the quantity and quality of occupational health data collected and used for occupational health surveillance. MOHSS will work to improve access to and quality of existing systems as well as explore new data sources. In order to accomplish this, MOHSS will collaborate with other agencies and bureaus within Montana to take advantage of the large variety of surveillance systems already in place. These include the MT Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), DLI Research and Analysis, and other organizations. Finally, MOHSS will create and maintain active communication with stakeholders in occupational safety and health to provide avenues through which information from MOHSS can reach agencies able to act in the findings. Findings from MOHSS will guide interventions and preventative policy targeting occupational health and safety hazards most efficiently. These relationships will also provide external guidance to MOHSS and provide council on aspects of occupational health of particular importance or concern.
Montana has one of the highest incidence rates of occupational injuries and illnesses in the country. Establishment MOHSS, an occupational health and safety surveillance program, will allow for closer inspection of the causes of these high rates. Findings from the program will be communicated to stakeholders in the industry to allow for corrections and improvements to be made.