Led by the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC), the Occupational Disease Surveillance Program (ODSP) aims to develop systems to monitor patterns and trends in occupational disease in Ontario, Canada.
According to the World Health Organization, surveillance is “the ongoing, systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of health-related data essential to planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice”. Surveillance systems enable timely responses to public health issues. Some of their characteristic features include operating over long periods, using consistent methods to collect and analyze data, and capturing information in a comprehensive way. They have many applications such as studying and monitoring trends and changes in disease, detecting new risk factors or diseases, and evaluating the effectiveness of control programs and measures.
Ontario’s Toxics Reduction Act (TRA) requires industrial facilities in four major manufacturing and mineral processing sectors to track and report their use and emission of toxic substances. This project explores the potential application of the TRA Program as a workplace exposure surveillance tool.
The ODSP is jointly funded by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) and the Ontario Ministry of Health (MOH). The ODSS project is jointly funded by the MLTSD and the MOH, with additional funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. The Toxics Reduction Act pilot project was funded by Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario). WorkSafe BC provided funding for the Mesothelioma Surveillance project.