Workplace safety data must be collected and disseminated much faster in Oregon, according to a study released Thursday.
Researchers from Oregon State University's College of Public Health and Human Sciences evaluated the state's occupational safety and health control system, noting that the state had a two to three year delay between when a workplace risk or accident occurred and when a new indicator was created or disseminated to the public.
"More rapid, complete and sustainable surveillance will benefit Oregon workers," said Sa Liu Yang, a recent Ph.D. degree at Oregon State College and Public Health and Human Sciences college and author of the study. “The whole purpose of the monitoring is to generate quality data that can be used for research and guidance. So, if the system can provide more rapid, complete data in a stable and systematic way, this will help to improve job security and health for Oregon workers. "
Although the researchers found that data quality was good, they found that the agency would benefit from adopting state-specific occupational health indicators and data from state agencies to improve the speed of compiling data, making them more targeted to local needs and enables faster dissemination to workplaces. One of the issues is the lack of stable sources of funding, according to the study.
The researchers found that the state's occupational safety and health experts begin using real-time emergency department visits and clinical health sources to track occupational health incidents and urged the state to continue evaluating its monitoring system on a regular basis.
The full study was published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine .