OCRC Report: Options for tracking occupational disease and exposure in Ontario

Work-related illness affects the quality of life of Canadians and is estimated to cost billions of dollars per year in healthcare expenditures and lost productivity. Despite the importance of occupational disease in Ontario, a large proportion of cases go unrecognized due to lack of surveillance and awareness. Surveillance of occupational exposure and disease is needed to systematically collect, evaluate and disseminate information pertaining to workplace exposures and work-related diseases over time.

The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of current occupational disease and exposure surveillance initiatives and to identify opportunities for future work. The report highlights:

  • Approaches that have been taken to occupational disease and exposure surveillance, and their strengths and weaknesses;
  • Current Canadian and international surveillance initiatives, especially those that are relevant to Ontario; and
  • Opportunities for future work.