Lesson 7: Surveillance Results
Good data concerning occupational injuries are a prerequisite to the development, implementation, and evaluation of injury prevention programs in the workplace.
Without reputable data, it will be impossible to gain the support of employers in offering injury prevention programs to their employees. This section presents examples of current surveillance results.
Surveillance data on fatal injuries in the workplace have been gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics since 1992, and the BLS (2005a) reports that a total of 5,703 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2004, an increase of 2 percent from work injuries reported in 2003. (See Figure 4.8 for some historical data on fatal injuries in the workplace.) The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) that the BLS conducts categorizes fatal injuries in many different ways: by manner, by industry, by demographic characteristics, and so forth.
In an effort to better understand both fatal and nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses, NIOSH collects data on them through the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), the emergency department-based surveillance system.