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Occupational Epidemiology

Occupational Epidemiology - Photo Credit: iStock-512547621 | Copyright: satori13
Occupational Epidemiology Menu

Overview

Occupational epidemiology involves the application of epidemiologic methods to populations of workers. Occupational epidemiologic studies may involve looking at workers exposed to a variety of chemical, biological or physical (e.g., noise, heat, radiation) agents to determine if the exposures result in the risk of adverse health outcomes. Alternatively, epidemiologic studies may involve the evaluation of workers with a common adverse health outcome to determine if an agent or set of agents may explain their disease.

OSHA Standards

There are currently no specific OSHA standards for occupational epidemiology. However, a variety of hazards are addressed in specific OSHA standards for Access to Employee Medical Records, Recordkeeping, General Industry, Shipyard Employment, and Construction.

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Hazard Recognition

Discusses epidemiology and related disciplines.

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Surveillance

Provides information on disease surveillance and data sets.

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Additional Resources

Provides links and references to additional resources related to occupational epidemiology.

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How do I find out about employer responsibilities and workers' rights?

Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury). For more information see www.whistleblowers.gov or Workers' rights under the OSH Act.

OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, go to the OSHA Offices by State webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

Small business employers may contact OSHA's free and confidential On-Site Consultation program to help determine whether there are hazards at their worksites and work with OSHA on correcting any identified hazards. Consultants in this program from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs. On-Site Consultation services are separate from enforcement activities and do not result in penalties or citations. To contact OSHA's free consultation service, go to OSHA's On-Site Consultation web page or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.

Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards. Workers can file a complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), online via eComplaint Form, or by printing the complaint form and mailing or faxing it to the local OSHA area office. Complaints that are signed by a worker are more likely to result in an inspection.

If you think your job is unsafe or if you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). Your contact will be kept confidential. We can help. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page.

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