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NC Department of Health and Human Services
NC Division of Public Health
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Occupational & Environmental Epidemiology

Occupational Health

The workplace contains a variety of hazards that may affect people's health. Workers may be exposed to chemicals, dust, heavy machinery, heat, noise, biological agents and other conditions. Occupational epidemiology involves monitoring how often workers are hurt on the job; what groups are most affected; and the reasons workers are hurt. Findings are used to identify ways to reduce risk of injury and illness.

Occupational Health Surveillance Program

The goals of the Occupational Health Surveillance Program are to describe work-related health risks and to use this information to promote safer work environments. Staff are also prepared to provide resources and/or consultation to Occupational Health Nurses, other health and safety professionals, and industry representatives. This program is located in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch of the N.C. Division of Public Health.

Major Program Activities

Occupational Health Facts & Figures for North Carolina

See the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Facts & Figures page for the following public health surveillance reports on occupational health issues:


Luckhaupt SE, Horter L, Groenewold MR, de Perio MA, Robbins CL, Sweeney MH, Thomas I, Valencia D, Ingram A, Heinzerling A, Nguyen A, Townsend EB, Weber RC, Reichbind D, Dishman H, Kerins JL, Lendacki FR, Austin C, Dixon L, Spillman B, Simonson S, Tonzel J, Krueger A, Duwell M, Bachaus B, Rust B, Barrett C, Morrison B, Owers Bonner KA, Karlsson ND, Angelon-Gaetz K, McClure ES, Kline KE, Dangar D, Reed C, Karpowicz J, Anderson SM, Cantor S, Chaudhary I, Ellis EM, Taylor ML, Sedon A, Kocharian A, Morris C, Samson ME, Mangla AT. "COVID-19 Outbreaks Linked to Workplaces, 23 US Jurisdictions, August-October 2021." Public Health Reports (Washington, D.C. 1974). 2022 December; DOI: 10.1177/00333549221138294.

Free H, Luckhaupt SE, Billock RM, Groenewold MR, Burrer S, Sweeney MH, Wong J, Gibb K, Rodriguez A, Vergara X, Cummings K, Lavender A, Argueta G, Crawford HL, Erukunuapor K, Karlsson ND, Armenti K, Thomas H, Gaetz K, Dang G, Harduar-Morano L, Modji K. Reported exposures among in-person workers with SARS-CoV-2 infection in 6 states, September 2020-June 2021. Clin Infect Dis. 2022 Jun 19:ciac486. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciac486. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35717638; PMCID: PMC9214180.

Brinker, K., Jacobs, T., Shire, J., Bunn, T., Chalmers, J., Dang, G., Flammia, D., Higgins, S., Lackovic, M., Lavender, A. and Lewis, J.S., 2016. Fatal Work-Related Injuries: Southeastern United States, 2008-2011. Workplace health & safety, 64(4), pp.135-140.

Dang, G.T., Barros, N., Higgins, S.A., Langley, R.L. and Lipton, D., 2013. Descriptive Review of Asbestosis and Silicosis Hospitalization Trends in North Carolina. NC Med J, 74(5), pp.368-375.

Funding Source

The North Carolina Occupational Health Surveillance Program is supported by Award Number 5U60OH010909-08 – State Occupational Safety and Health Surveillance Program (U60)” from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIOSH/CDC.

For Additional Information