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Poster-discussion: Methodology 1
Estimating the burden of ill-health and injury due to current occupational exposures in Great Britain: outline of methodology
  1. Gillian Frost1,
  2. Simon Clarke2,
  3. John Hodgson2
  1. 1Health & Safety Laboratory, Buxton, UK
  2. 2Health & Safety Executive, Bootle, UK


Objectives The Health & Safety Executive is the national independent watchdog for work-related health, safety and illness in Great Britain (GB), and is looking to improve the evidence base for prioritisation of resources. The aim of this project is to estimate the burden of work-related ill health and injury in GB based on current occupational exposures, in order to aid the decision process. This poster discusses the methodology and challenges involved.

Methods Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) were identified as an appropriate measure to compare work-related conditions with varying severities (eg, asbestos-related cancer, stress, and slip/trip injuries). To bring conditions with different time profiles onto a comparable basis, DALYs are computed for the steady state annual number of cases that would be generated by the indefinite continuation of current working conditions.

Results Various challenges in this study will be discussed along with methods to address them and their effect on final results. These include: 1) The difficulty with estimating current case generation for conditions with a latency period; 2) The World Health Organisation produced a list of disability weights used in DALY calculations, but the categories do not always directly match those used in this study; and 3) Data must be gathered from various sources, all of which have their own strengths and limitations.

Conclusions This study could be a valuable tool to aid prioritisation of health and safety resources. However, before this can happen, there must be confidence in the underlying methodology and assumptions made. © Crown Copyright (2011).

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