Methodologies to identify work-related diseases: Review of sentinel and alert approaches


Alert and sentinel systems allow the early identification of work-related diseases and are useful to complement the official figures of occupational diseases and to set-up evidence-based prevention. However, there is only a limited number of such systems in place.

This report reviews existing alert and sentinel systems, as well as other monitoring systems presenting features also suitable to detect emerging work-related diseases.

The review identifies weaknesses, such as the often missing collection of workplace exposure assessment data, the poor coverage of some worker’s groups and diseases like mental ill health; and the weak link to workplace prevention. It also gives good practice examples and highlights the importance of international cooperation and dissemination of data to achieve the maximum benefit from alert and sentinel approaches.

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