Online Program

Poisoned at work: Evaluation of poison center data for occupational health and injury surveillance

Monday, November 4, 2013

Laura Moore, BS Microbiology, MPH, Department of Public Health, University of New Hampshire, Manchester, NH
The extent of work-related poisonings across New Hampshire and the nation remains largely undocumented, but the associated morbidity and mortality, healthcare costs, and losses due to decreased productivity are thought to be significant. These work-related events result in substantial human and economic costs, not only for workers and employers, but also for society as a whole. The objective of this study was to describe the distribution and trends of occupational poisoning exposures among New Hampshire's employed population from 2005 to 2011. Findings will be used to assist in developing targeted prevention strategies designed to reduce work-related exposures to harmful substances and inform occupational health surveillance and prevention efforts.

A retrospective study analyzed occupational exposure data reported to the Northern New England Poison Center (NNEPC) for New Hampshire from 2005 to 2011. Frequency distribution analysis included number of cases per year, poison substance, route of exposure, management site, and clinical effect. Results from this study will be presented in the poster.

This study highlights that analyzing poison center case data can lead to a better understanding of the trends in exposures to hazardous chemical substances and potential poisons at work. Education is a key component for prevention strategies, however due to the widespread incidence of poisonings across job activities and sectors, it is unlikely that a single or a few prevention measures will work to address the risks. Better understanding of occupational poisonings allows us to target the processes involved in these events for toxics use reduction and hazard elimination activities.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Assess the feasibility of using poison center data for identifying trends in occupational poisoning exposures. Discuss the broader implications of poisoning exposures in the working population. Identify key prevention strategies to reduce occupational poisoning exposures.

Keyword(s): Occupational Exposure, Occupational Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a graduate student in the UNH Master of Public Health Program, in which I have focused my final project on poisoning exposures in the work place. I have worked closely with the principle investigator of the NH Department of Health and Human Services Occupational Health Surveillance group to expand my knowledge of occupational hazards and poisoning exposures.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.