Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1984;10(6):347-352    pdf


Occupational mortality.

by Harrington JM

Mortality statistics have been formally collected in the United Kingdom since the time of John Graunt in 1692. The advent of birth and death registration in 1839 established a reliable system of mortality rate calculations. Occupation was added to the sixth decennial census in 1851, and supplementary occupational mortality reports have been published since that date. The usefulness of these decennial supplements as hypothesis-generating exercises is reviewed. Particular emphasis is placed on the validity of the standardized mortality ratio as an index of comparative mortality. Flaws in the collection and recording of causes of death and occupational status at death and during life are noted, and the ways in which standard reporting of these events could be improved are outlined.