Note: Occasionally, we are able to share a blog submitted by one of our partners. In this post we are very pleased to share one from Curtis Cude, Oregon Health Authority Occupational Public Health Principal Investigator/Program Manager. We do this in efforts to share good work going on among our partners and collaborators that we think to be of interest to the Institutes’ followers and stakeholders.
The Oregon Occupational Public Health Program, funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, focuses on ensuring the health and well-being of people at work or affected by work. Employers, employees, co-workers, family members, customers, nearby communities and many others are impacted by the workplace environment.
Occupational health indicators (OHI) are specific measures of a work-related disease or injury or of factors associated with occupational health, such as workplace exposures, hazards, or interventions. OHIs can provide baseline health of worker populations and may help identify trends and patterns of work-related injury, illness, and death.
The Oregon Public Health Program (OPHP) calculates 24 OHIs annually for the state as part of a grant from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE). CSTE posts OHIs for Oregon and other states on their website.
OPHP created a story map of OHIs at the county level. It is the initial effort to explore questions about whether areas of Oregon with more workers in high risk industry sectors also have higher levels of occupational injury and illness. Due to relative recency of relevant data systems, the date range of results differs between data sets. Here is a summary of findings:
Counties in Oregon with higher concentrations of workers in high risk industries. County data for Oregon from 2008-2016 had an average of 19.2% (sd = 3.1%) employed in high risk industries. The minimum observed was 11.3% (Washington County) and the maximum was 29.3% (Grant County).
Counties in Oregon with higher rates of work-related fatalities. Oregon county data from 2005 -2016 range from a minimum work-related fatality rate of 1.2 per 100,000 workers in Washington County to a maximum rate of 28.4 per 100,000 workers in Sherman County. For comparison, the 2016 overall work-related fatality rate in Oregon and the U.S. were 2.75 and 3.60 per 100,000 workers respectively.
Counties in Oregon with higher rates of work-related hospitalizations. The minimum rate observed was 4.2 per 10,000 employees in Washington County and Benton County for the period of 2012-2017. The maximum rate was 53.5 per 10,000 employees in Wheeler County.
Counties in Oregon with higher rates of work-related emergency department visits. For 2016-17 the mean work-related injury and illness rate was 500 per 10,000 employees. The minimum rate observed was 60 per 100,000 employees in Benton County while the maximum rate was 1,675 per 10,000 employees in Jefferson County.
Submitted by: Curtis Cude, Oregon Health Authority Occupational Public Health Principal Investigator/Program Manager