Worker Safety Terms And Agencies
Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance Program
(ABLES): A surveillance system for identifying
and preventing cases of elevated blood levels (BLLs) among workers in the
United States. Twenty-eight States participated in ABLES in 1999 by
collecting laboratory-reported blood lead results and by targeting high-risk
industries and occupations, physicians, workers, and worksites for outreach,
intervention, and research.
American Association of Poison Control
resource that provides information about all aspects of
poisoning and refers patients to treatment centers.
Causality: The relating of causes to the effects
they produce. Most of epidemiology concerns causality, and several types of
causes can be distinguished. It must be emphasized, however, that
evidence by itself is
insufficient to establish causality, although it can provide powerful
circumstantial evidence. A cause is termed "necessary" when it must always
precede an effect. This effect need not be the sole result of the one cause.
A cause is termed "sufficient" when it inevitably initiates or produces an
effect. Any given cause may be necessary, sufficient, neither, or both.
CDC National HIV/AIDS Reporting System
(HARS): This Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting system
contains information about U.S. AIDS and HIV case reports, including data
by State, metropolitan statistical area, mode of exposure to HIV, sex,
race/ethnicity, age group, vital status, and case definition category.
Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries
(CFOI): A national census of occupational
injury fatalities, including selfemployed workers, agricultural workers,
and government workers. CFOI uses multiple sources of information such as
death certificates, OSHA reports, workers' compensation data, police
reports, and newspaper clippings. CFOI program data are collected in
cooperation with BLS to ensure that data are comparable among States.
States provide data to BLS for inclusion in a national database and
maintain their own State databases. Data are currently available for the
Coal Workers' X-Ray Surveillance Program
(CWXSP): An ongoing, congressionally mandated program to provide periodic chest
X-rays to working underground coal miners for identifying early
pneumoconiosis and facilitating the transfer of affected workers to a job with
lower dust concentrations. The program has been in effect since 1970.
Etiology: Literally, the science of causes; causality; in common
usage, cause. See also causality and
Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) field
investigation program with two arms: (1) a NIOSH/State cooperative program
in which 15 States conduct State censuses of fatal occupational injuries and
investigate specific types of these; and (2) a NIOSH intramural program that
investigates specific types of fatalities at the request of 5 States.
Fatalities specifically investigated by FACE include falls,
machinery-related events, and logging
Incidence rate: The rate at which new events occur
in a population. The numerator is the number of new events that occur in a
defined period; the denominator is the population at risk of experiencing
during this period,
sometimes expressed as person-time.
Long latency period: (Synonym: latency.) Delay between exposure
to a disease-causing agent and manifestation of the disease. For
example, after exposure to ionizing radiation, the average latency period is 5
years before the development of leukemia and more than 20 years before
the development of certain other malignant conditions. The term
latent period or latency is often used synonymously with
induction period (the period between exposure to a
disease-causing agent and manifestation of the disease). Latency has also
been defined as the period from disease initiation to disease detection. In
infectious disease epidemiology, this period corresponds with the period
between exposure and onset of infectiousness (which may be shorter or longer
than the incubation period).
Median: A measure of central tendency. The simplest
division of a set of measurements is into two parts—the lower and the upper
half. The point on the scale that divides the group in this way is called
National Center for Health Statistics
(NCHS): A center
within CDC that is responsible for the collection, analyses, and dissemination
of health statistics. NCHS has two major types of data systems: systems based on population data collected
through personal interviews or examinations; systems based on individual
records, with data collected from State and local vital and medical records.
National Center for Infectious
Diseases (NCID): A center within CDC whose mission is to prevent illness, disability, and death
caused by infectious diseases in the United States and around the world.
NCID accomplishes its mission by conducting surveillance, epidemic
investigations, epidemiologic and laboratory research, training, and
public education programs to develop, evaluate, and promote prevention
and control strategies for infectious diseases.
National Electronic Injury Surveillance
System (NEISS): A data system maintained by the Consumer
Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
to monitor consumer-product-related injuries representing a
national sample of U.S. emergency departments. In an interagency
agreement with NIOSH, NEISS also collects and codes data on all
work-related injuries from emergency departments, regardless of consumer
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
(NHANES): An ongoing Federal survey administered by the National Center
for Health Statistics (NCHS) to provide researchers with information
about the health and nutrition status of the U.S. population, prevalence
of selected diseases, and associated risk factors.
National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care
Survey (NHAMCS): A national survey designed to collect data on the utilization and
provision of ambulatory care services in hospital emergency and
outpatient departments. Findings are based on a national sample of visits to
the emergency departments and outpatient departments of
approximately 500 noninstitutional general and shortstay hospitals. Annual
surveys were begun in 1992.
National Occupational Mortality Surveillance System
(NOMS): A mortality statistics database derived from public-use vital
statistics data disseminated by the National Center for Health Statistics
(NCHS). Since the early 1980s, NIOSH, NCHS, and the National Cancer
Institute have supported the collection and coding of decedents' usual
occupation and industry information for State vital statistics programs.
NOMS uses data from these cooperating States and States that received
cooperative agreements through early NIOSH State-based surveillance
programs. Usual occupation and industry of the decedent are coded according
to the Bureau of the Census classification system. Cause of death is
coded according to the World Health Organization's
Manual of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries, and Causes of
Death, Based on Recommendations of the Ninth Revision Conference, 1975.
National Surveillance System for Hospital Health Care
Workers (NaSH): A surveillance system that focuses on surveillance of
exposures and infections among hospital-based health care workers. The
purpose of NaSH is to monitor national trends; identify newly emerging
hazards for HCWs; assess the risk of occupational infection; and evaluate
preventive measures, including engineering controls, work practices,
protective equipment, and postexposure prophylaxis to prevent
occupationally acquired infections.
National Surveillance System for Pneumoconiosis
Mortality (NSSPM): An annually updated pneumoconiosis surveillance
system developed by NIOSH. The NSSPM includes information about all U.S.
decedents with death-certificate mention of pneumoconiosis since 1968. The
system is based on death certificate data files made available annually by
the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Records are currently
available for more than 100,000 pneumoconiosis decedents; they include
information about demographic characteristics, year of death, underlying and
contributing causes of death, and (since 1985 for deaths occurring in about
half of the States) usual industry and occupation.
National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities Surveillance
System (NTOF): A nationwide surveillance system for
occupational injury deaths. NTOF is based on death certificates as a sole
source of case identification. The system has been estimated to include an
average of 81% of all occupational injury deaths nationwide. NTOF data are
currently available for 1980 through 1995. NTOF is the most comprehensive
source of data on occupational injury deaths before 1992.
loss: A sensorineural hearing
loss caused by repeated exposure to high-intensity sound levels.
Noise-induced hearing loss is characterized by irreversible damage to the
sensory hair cells located within the inner ear. The condition is usually
preventable by limiting noise exposures or by using personal hearing
Pathogenesis: The postulated mechanisms by which
the etiologic agent produces disease. The difference between etiology and
pathogenesis should be noted: The etiology of a disease or disability
consists of the postulated causes that initiate the pathogenetic mechanisms.
Control of these causes might lead to prevention of the
Prevalence rate (ratio): The total number of all persons who have
an attribute or disease at a particular time (or during a particular
period) divided by the population at risk of having the attribute or disease
at this point in time or midway through the period. A problem may
arise with calculating period prevalence rates because of the difficulty of
defining the most appropriate denominator. This is a proportion, not
Proportionate mortality ratio
(PMR): Ratio of the
proportion of deaths from a specific cause in an exposed population compared
with the comparable ratio in the nonexposed population. For example, the
proportion of deaths from disease X in the exposed population could
be compared with the proportion of deaths from disease X in
the nonexposed population.
Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational
Risk (SENSOR): A NIOSH cooperative agreement
with State health departments or other State agencies that develops
generalizable, conditionspecific strategies for Statebased surveillance of
occupational diseases and injuries. Efforts have focused on standardization
of variables collected by the State programs, creation of software to
facilitate adoption of the surveillance systems by additional States,
comparison of SENSOR findings to other surveillance data sources,
collaboration with the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists
(CSTE) on building infrastructure for Statebased surveillance, further
development of Statebased hazard
surveillance, and publication and dissemination of SENSOR reports.
Surveillance for Tuberculosis Infection in Health Care
Workers (staffTRAK–TB): CDC recommends periodic tuberculosis (TB) skin
testing of health care workers with potential for exposure to
Mycobacterium tuberculosis. staffTRAK–TB
was developed to track, analyze, and report demographic, occupation, work location, and multiple TB
skin-testing results to determine whether clinically active TB is present.
Surveillance: The systematic, ongoing collection
and/or acquisition of information for occupational diseases, injuries, and hazards. Surveillance
includes the analysis and interpretation of surveillance data, the
dissemination of data or information derived from surveillance
to appropriate audiences for prevention and control, and the development
of surveillance methodology.
Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII):
survey of a large sample of U.S. employers (approximately
250,000) maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The sample is
drawn to provide national and State estimates for those States that
participate in this Federal/State cooperative program (about 40). The annual
survey excludes government workers, the self-employed, and
employees of small farms. Employers report information from their injury
and illness logs. For employers not required to keep logs,
recordkeeping forms are provided at the beginning of the study period.
Toxic Exposure Surveillance System
State-based surveillance system for identifying, investigating, and
illnesses and injuries. TESS is maintained by the American
Association of Poison Control Centers.
Viral Hepatitis Surveillance Program
(VHSP): The Hepatitis Branch of the National
Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID) operates the Viral Hepatitis
Surveillance Program (VHSP), which obtains national surveillance data on
clinical, serologic, and epidemiologic data pertaining to risk factors for