Indicators of Occupational Health and Safety

The occupational health and safety indicators (OHIs) were created through a joint effort of scientists and epidemiologists at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE). The indicators use a wide variety of secondary data sources to provide a common set of measures of occupational health and safety that can be compared and monitored over time and utilized for establishing state priorities for education and prevention initiatives.

The OHIs were pilot-tested in a number of states to evaluate the methods, accessibility to data sources, and their usefulness in monitoring rates and trends of occupational injuries, illnesses, and hazards at a statewide level. The OHIs include a broad range of measures of occupational health, including occupationally-related cases of disease and injury, occupational exposures and hazards, characteristics of the workforce, the costs associated with occupational disease and injury, and the number of health professionals dedicated to addressing occupational health and safety. The rationale for, and detailed definition of, each OHI can be found on the CSTE web site.

Diverse data sources are used to create these indicators: hospitalization billing data, workers’ compensation data, data from the Survey for Occupational Injury and Illness (SOII), census data, cancer registry data, poison control center data, and death certificate data. While the data provided by each of these sources are very useful, they vary widely in their completeness and other limitations and must be interpreted in the context of those limitations.

Each of the indicators describes a specific measure of occupational health and safety. Indicators listed are linked to more information about its definition, rates and trends in Minnesota, interpretations, and limitations.

All indicators