The NJDOH Occupational Health Surveillance Unit (OHS) intends to continue its long and successful collaborative relationship with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. OHS proposes to use this funding opportunity as a means to build a stronger capacity to conduct surveillance on occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities in order to reduce or eliminate adverse health impacts, identify gaps in existing data sources and provide recommendations for educational and outreach materials. This project's first aim will identify and investigate cases associated with occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities utilizing existing data from health care systems, public health surveillance, health care provider reporting and media. Utilizing existing hospital discharge administrative data (in-patient hospitalizations and emergency department visits) data and death certificates maintained by NJDOH and health care provider reports, the project team will collect and analyze cases of occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Once cases are identified, the project team will investigate and confirm potential cases by means of patient interviews, medical records review and workplace evaluation. Project staff will summarize the results of the data collection in Aim 1 to provide an overall assessment of occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Also included in the summary report are the results of any literature reviews that identify industries or occupations, new or emerging, which pose an increased risk. After the new or emerging target populations have been identified, the research team will begin building a multi-organizational collaboration. Finally, the development and implementation of in-depth educational interventions for specific industries and occupations will be driven by the findings from Aims 1 and 2. The availability of collaborators, feasibility of reaching the target population sustainability of the proposed activity and resources required will also be considered.
Evaluating several unique datasets for occupational illnesses and injuries will allow the OHS Unit to continue and expand upon its existing surveillance. This assessment will improve public health responses occupational risks and will give the OHS Unit the opportunity to develop recommendations to improve new and existing datasets, develop and implement industry-wide hazard surveillance studies, and conduct on-site industrial hvaiene evaluations
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