Various epidemiological study designs are available to investigate illness and injury risks related to workplace exposures. The choice of study design to address a particular research question will be guided by the nature of the health outcome under study, its presumed relation to workplace exposures, and feasibility constraints. This review summarises the relative advantages and limitations of conventional study designs including cohort studies, cross-sectional studies, repeated measures studies, case-control (industry- and community-based) studies, and more recently developed variants of the nested case-control design: case-cohort and case-crossover studies.
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Competing interests: None declared.