Background Working conditions are increasingly polarised between high skilled/low skilled jobs, but also between generations, gender and by migrant status. National indicators are reported based on overall group (e.g. gender, occupation, age-group, socio-economic status), but rarely explore trends for vulnerable subgroups to identify specific needs for intervention.
Methods We performed i) a review of available information on working conditions from ongoing repeated public health surveys and surveys of working conditions, and data-bases of exposure in Sweden, ii) an analysis of reported working conditions and work-ability index by geographical area within the county of Stockholm to identify priorities for occupational health interaction with vocational training, primary care and rehabilitation agencies.
Results Routine reports on working conditions made to inform priorities and policy, do not capture intersections of temporary contracts, working conditions, sickness presence, and e.g. lack of occupational health service, in relation to age-group, gender and ethnicity. Spatial analyses identified ”hot-spot” areas with aggregated occupational risks, which should be given priority by occupational medicine in the interaction with the local communities. Compulsory measurements reported to national authorities were not available for extraction of trends.
Conclusion Reporting of national surveys of working conditions could capture important trends and be more informative for priorities and policies by subanalysis focused on likely vulnerable groups identified by research. Spatial analyses of population-based public health surveys can be used as a basis for priorities of regional resources. Trends in chemical exposure should be followed by making hygienic measurements available.
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