Illness and Injury Surveillance Program
The Department of Energy's Illness and Injury Surveillance Program has the goal
of identifying groups of workers who may be at increased risk for
occupationally related injury and illness. The program evaluates and
communicates the potential impact of DOE operations on these workers.
Knowledge generated by the program provides a mechanism by which worker
health concerns can be addressed in collaboration with the affected
workers, occupational medicine, and site management. The program is
responsive to the Department of Energy's legislative mandate (Atomic
Energy Act, Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, and Department of Energy
Organization Act, 1977) to monitor the impact of its operations on
the environment, the health of its work force, and the residents of
communities surrounding DOE sites.
Illness and Injury Surveillance supports the DOE's only multi-site health information database linked to current workers. The program uses health and demographic data already collected from existing health and safety data sources to maximize the use of current data, thus limiting the cost of data collection. The Program adds a component of epidemiologic health surveillance to the practice of occupational medicine at participating sites. To address issues of privacy and confidentiality, no identified worker data are ever transmitted off site. All data transmitted to the Program's data center are accompanied only by encrypted identifiers, and only site personnel who are directly involved with Illness and Injury Surveillance at each participating site can identify data for an individual at their site using these identifiers. Each site assigns its own encrypted identifiers to records using an encryption algorithm known only to those individuals directly involved with the program at the site.
Program staff also provides epidemiologic and public health expertise
in the evaluation of worker health concerns. Reports summarizing the
results of illness and injury surveillance are published annually and
are available online. The implementation of Illness and Injury
Surveillance has advanced the automation of health data management
systems at numerous DOE sites.
Illness and Injury Surveillance began as a pilot project in the 1980s
at the Hanford Site and Idaho National Laboratory to determine whether
routine health surveillance could be conducted at low cost to assess
the health of current contractor workers and to identify groups of
workers at increased risk of illness or injury. The program became
DOE Headquarters-based with the formation of the Office of Health in
1989. Illness and Injury Surveillance now monitors the health of
approximately 79,000 current contractor workers at 13 DOE sites.
Site participation remains voluntary, with the number of sites
participating set by the availability of program funding.
Fourteen sites participate in the program:
- Argonne National Laboratory
- Brookhaven National Laboratory
- East Tennessee Technology Park (K-25)
- Hanford Nuclear Reservation
- Idaho National Laboratory
- Kansas City Plant
- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
- Los Alamos National Laboratory
- Nevada Test Site
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory (X-10)
- Oak Ridge Reservation (Y-12 Weapons Plant)
- Pantex Plant
- Sandia National Laboratory-Albuquerque
- Savannah River Site
Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site participated from 1992 through 2000, and the Fernald Environmental Management Project participated from 1993 through 2004.
- Current workers
- DOE Headquarters and field management
- Occupational medicine and other site health and safety staff
- Concerned public
- Completed an independent assessment of the program to
further align and integrate it with overall Office of Health goals.
- Expanded dissemination of health data to workers, citizens'
groups, state government representatives, and other stakeholders
through internet-based information.
- Presented results of Brookhaven National Laboratory Worker
Cancer Assessment to workers and community representatives.
- Supported cancer assessment of LLNL workers.
- Conducted health assessments to address concerns of employees
at DOE Headquarters, Federal employees at Idaho National Laboratory,
and provided analytical support for worker health assessment at Sandia
- Developed a DOE Technical Standard addressing the need for guidance concerning the collection and reporting of health information.
- Presented results of combined analyses covering health issues of 13 participating sites at the NIOSH/CDC Worklife 2007 Symposium, September, 2007.
- Work with site industrial hygiene staff to evaluate the
potential value of developing an exposure module for epidemiologic
- Continue site recruitment.
- Improve communication with stakeholders through the development
of more accessible, summarized information and wider dissemination
- Develop special focus reports addressing
specific health and/or safety issues.
- Work with other Office of Health and Safety staff to develop policy
addressing health and safety data collection and reporting.
- Continue the development of new ways to assess the health of
Illness and Injury Surveillance Program Brochure
Program Manager: Clifton
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