Scand J Work Environ Health 1999;25 suppl 4:61-67    pdf

Health and hazard surveillance - needs and perspectives

by Kauppinen T, Toikkanen J

Health and hazard surveillance is the on-going collection, analysis, evaluation, and dissemination of information aimed at improving the health, work ability, and well-being of workers. Hazard surveillance supplemented by quantitative risk assessment is the most prevention-oriented domain of surveillance. However, information on exposures and stress factors is often lacking. Computer-assisted expert judgment is a new approach to improve knowledge on hazards. Surveillance of work organizations and psychosocial factors is a challenging area which still requires research. Statistics on occupational injuries and diseases are available, but nonspecific coding and insufficient interpretation often limit their usefulness. Systematic surveys of new types of cases and the linking of different data bases are becoming more feasible. Methodological work is needed to develop indicators of work ability and work-related symptoms. Among the many possibilities to develop surveillance are the use of information technology, the application of hazard communication principles, and the development of practical aids for surveillance at the company level.

The following articles refer to this text: 2001;27(5):311-317; 2007;33(1):58-65