In order to determine the feasibility of using workers' compensation claims (WCC) for surveillance of occupational skin diseases, we reviewed all WCC received in the state of Ohio from 1980 through 1984. A total of 4,214 WCC for occupational skin diseases were filed by 2,610 Ohio companies, of which 1,656 (63%) companies were classified in Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) categories with average annual WCC rates above the overall state average for skin diseases. During the five year study period, 102 companies filed six or more WCC, of which 85 (83.3%) companies were classified in SICs with above‐average WCC rates. WCC from 65 (63.7%) of these 102 companies implicated either the same occupation or causal agent in 50% or more of WCC received from each respective company. Using SIC classifications with WCC rates above the state average and six or more filed WCC as measures of risk, there was good correlation between company risk ranking by SIC categorization and number of WCC filed. This study suggests that active intervention strategies to prevent occupational skin diseases can be based on primary identification of companies filing WCC, followed by secondary identification of high‐risk occupations or causal agent exposures within these companies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- occupational skin disease
- prevention strategies