The investigators for Illinois Center for Injury Prevention are academicians serving as bona fide agents of the State. This allows a unique perspective and investigative methods as a State Based Surveillance program. Our first five years focused on strengthening collaborations with various state agencies with a mission to increase the awareness and importance of occupational health and safety. We are proud of the collaborative activities, publications, and the general awareness in the value of this program that has resulted from these partnerships.
Our Advisory Board Director, Dr. Linda Forst, was interviewed by ProPublica in an article discussing the higher rates of job related injuries for temporary workers.
Dr. Forst and Dr. Sumeet Batra recently testified for the Illinois State Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, regarding Workers Compensation. View their testimonies below.
Our advisory board convenes on at least an annual basis. In past Advisory Board meetings, we have made plans for: implementing interventions to prevent amputations in the State, invited experts and participated in a discussion about direct reporting of severe, traumatic occupational injuries directly from trauma centers to OSHA, and discussed interventions for workers employed in the Temporary Employment Services sector.
In the next five years, our goal is to stabilize the program by embedding personnel from the university in the state health department. We also would like to organize an annual conference and find a way to assure regular attendance of the national meeting by IDPH personnel along with university investigators.
Illinois Workers Compensation Commission -We were contracted to develop a web-based form for First Reports of Injury for Illinois (2014-5). We present on occupational illness and injury sentinels to the Arbitrators once per year.
Illinois Department of Public Health -Illinois Department of Public Health: We have a quarterly meeting with the IDPH to improve data sharing. In the past year, IDPH provided funds for UIC School of Public Health to review policy related to release of HIPAA protected data. IOSP is serving as a model for the value and importance of data release in the State.
Workers Centers: Chicago Workers Collaborative-We are conducting a series of collaborative projects, including training of workers on health and safety, gathering surveillance data from workers. Together we have applied for a NIOSH R01 grant to conduct surveillance and do a training intervention based on surveillance findings.
Region 5 OSHA-We met with the Region 5 Director three times, in addition to the Assistant Secretary of Labor, David Michaels. We have developed a work plan to help Region 5 OSHA improve their enforcement activities. This program entails identifying employers with repeated cases of amputations, electrocutions and severe burns. In addition, a corresponding program targeting temporary employment agencies has been developed. We also submitted a comment on the new OSHA recordkeeping rule.
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