Article Text

Download PDFPDF
If it's not counted it didn't happen!
  1. David H Wegman1,
  2. Christer Hogstedt2
  1. 1Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 1 University Avenue, Lowell, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Dr David H Wegman, Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 1 University Avenue, Lowell, MA 01854, USA; david_wegman{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

In this information age we are increasingly dependent on having adequate and timely data appropriate to inform decisions and action. In fact, there is good reason to worry about the old adage that “if it is not counted it didn't happen”. This concern has prompted focus on the need to modernise occupational health surveillance.1–4 Fundamental to effective occupational health surveillance and priorities for prevention are an effective characterisation of the hazards faced by the full population of workers and trends over time in prevalence of those hazards. The best recognised effort in this regard is the European Foundation’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) recently completing its fifth iteration.5 This has proved an invaluable resource for the European Union nations’ need to understand the distribution of risks among the workforce in member countries. The findings and trends provide the European Union as well as member nations an invaluable foundation for planning prevention efforts. Ongoing analyses and publications using this resource also provide opportunities for …

View Full Text


  • Contributors DHW prepared the first draft of the commentary. CH provided significant revisions and additions. The effort was equally shared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

Linked Articles

  • Workplace
    Fernando G Benavides Catharina Wesseling George L Delclos Sarah Felknor Javier Pinilla Fernando Rodrigo on behalf of the research team of the first Central American Survey of Working Conditions and Health Emily Felt María López Carlos Santos David Gimeno Marianela Rojas Freddy Briceño Patricia Monge Norma Osiris Carlos Meléndez Lino Carmenate Indiana López Aurora Aragón Pedro Vinda Nancy Piedra Costa Rica