Occupational Health Surveillance Program
Work-related injuries and illnesses are preventable, and control of occupational hazards is the most effective means of prevention. Research has shown that relationships exist between the demographic characteristics of workers and the risk of occupational illness or injury. Understanding the basic characteristics of the New Hampshire workforce is vital to assessing possible occupational health risks for New Hampshire’s workers.
In collaboration with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), the New Hampshire Occupational Health Surveillance Program (OHSP) aims to provide meaningful statistics to identify priority occupational safety and health issues in the state. This includes reports on a variety of core occupational health indicators based on measures of health (work-related disease, injury, or disability) or factors associated with health, such as workplace exposures, hazards or interventions. The indicators represent a core set of data that, when collected at the state level, inform the development and implementation of programs to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses, and to monitor trends and progress over time.
Research activities are aimed at better characterization of risk factors tied to workplace injury and illness, such as occupational poisonings, work related asthma, and exposure to lead; as well as a better understanding of how injury and illness data may inform policy making at the state and national level. We work with many community, business, and advocacy partners in the state to conduct studies on under-reporting and under-recording of work related injuries and illnesses; barriers to safe and healthy working conditions; and disparities experienced by NH’s most vulnerable workers.
The NH Occupational Health Surveillance Program is now an Affiliate of the NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) Total Worker Health® (TWH) Program focused on policies, programs, and practices that integrate protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness prevention efforts to advance worker well-being. As an Affiliate, the NH OHSP strives to work with NIOSH to enrich and broaden current TWH research, practice, and dissemination efforts.
The NH OHSP, previously housed in the NH Division of Public Health Services, now finds its home in the Institute through a bona fide agent agreement with the State of New Hampshire.