MDCH And MIOSHA Announce New Report On Occupational Health Indicators
September 27, 2005
The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) today announced the release of a new report by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) on the tracking of work-related injuries and illnesses.
While there has been tremendous progress in reducing workplace hazards, workplace injuries and illnesses are still a problem in Michigan. Unlike other public health problems, those in the workplace, by definition, are preventable. When the effect of an exposure or hazard can be measured, it is often possible and feasible to construct useful preventative measures.
"Not only will strong information gathering protect our workers and the public, but lessons learned by tracking these indicators over time will help businesses save money and stay competitive," said MDCH Director Janet Olszewski.
This report has detailed information about 19 occupational health indicators in 13 states, including Michigan. Indicators such as fatalities, injuries and illnesses, musculoskeletal disorders, amputations, elevated blood lead levels, and lung diseases provide a snapshot of the health of workers that can be used to design prevention strategies.
MDCH collaborated with the CSTE in the development of the report. MIOSHA will use the report to help plan outreach and compliance activities. The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth (DLEG).
“Our MIOSHA program is dedicated to protecting the safety and health of Michigan’s working men and women,” said DLEG Director David C. Hollister. “This information provides us with a valuable tool to help employers fulfill their responsibility to provide a safe and healthy work environment.”
Michigan will continue to collect and publish the data under a new, five-year grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIOSH is the federal agency responsible for occupational safety and health research.
“Prevention is the crucial key to protecting workers,” said MIOSHA Director Doug Kalinowski. “This report includes important new data to help us target our resources where they’re needed most–with the goal of a continued decline in workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.”
MDCH is collaborating with Michigan State University on this project. MSU Professor Dr. Ken Rosenman serves as Principal Investigator for this grant. "Work-related injuries and illnesses cost $1.5 billion annually in workers compensation claims in Michigan,” said Rosenman. “On-going and systematic compilation of occupational injury and illness information, including these 19 health indicators, is fundamental in reducing the human suffering from work-related injuries and illnesses."
A copy of the report, titled "Putting Data to Work: Occupational Health Indicators from Thirteen Pilot States for 2000," is available on the web at www.cste.org. For more information, contact Martha Stanbury, MDCH Division of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology, at (517) 335-8350.